It’s easy to imagine professional athletes playing fast and loose with their money. Mike Tyson, for example, purchased everything from pet tigers to a $2 million bathtub; LeBron James once picked up a house in Las Vegas as an impulse buy. Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, however, was a little more responsible.
While Wilson has become the highest-paid player in the NFL, that wasn’t always the case. In fact, his agent wouldn’t let him make one particular purchase until he signed his first major contract.
Russell Wilson’s impressive NFL career
During his time in college, Russell Wilson played both football and baseball. While hindsight may be 20-20, it seems like he made the right choice by heading to the NFL.
During his three seasons at NC State and one with Wisconsin, Wilson showed plenty of talent. Despite that, many wrote him off due to his size. One of his college coaches told him that he would never make it in the pros; when the draft came, he slipped into the third round.
Although the Seattle Seahawks had just signed Matt Flynn to a contract, they drafted Wilson in 2012. Against the odds, the rookie won the starting job; he took home the Pepsi MAX Rookie of the Year award and, the next year, led the club to a Super Bowl victory.
While the Seahawks haven’t reached those same heights since, Wilson has developed into one of the league’s best quarterbacks. In his eight NFL seasons, he hasn’t missed a single start; during that time, he’s thrown for 29,734 yards and 227 touchdowns while racking up 86 victories.
Holding off on buying a house
Given their enormous salaries, it’s easy to imagine professional athletes being able to buy anything they want, anytime they want. Russell Wilson, however, had to be a bit more frugal.
As a third-round pick, the quarterback didn’t enter the league making a great deal of money, at least by NFL standards. During his rookie year, he took home roughly $1 million; he then earned about $526,000 in 2013 and $662,000 in 2014.
Even though he was Seattle’s starting quarterback at the time, Wilson didn’t own a house in the city. That wasn’t due to any dislike of the city, though. His agent simply advised against purchasing one.
There’s one thing I’ll probably buy in this city, and that’s a house,” Wilson explained after signing a contract extension in 2015. “Who knows when, but [agent Mark Rodgers] hasn’t allowed me to buy a house yet, so yeah, I will probably do that at some point here.”
It’s safe to say Russell Wilson is living large now
Shortly after signing that contract extension, Russell Wilson did buy a house. While the home was reportedly worth $6.7 million, the quarterback’s financial situation has become even more comfortable since then.
After signing that $87.6 million contract in 2015, Wilson continued to thrive. When it came time to work out another new deal, the quarterback was able to cash in. As the Seahawks marquee player, he left the negotiating table with a four-year, $140 million contract extension; that made him the NFL’s highest-paid player, in terms of annual salary.
These days, Russell Wilson and his wife, Ciara, have a combined net worth of more than $125 million. It’s safe to assume they’ll be allowed to purchase more or less anything they want.