Will Russell Wilson Be a Hall of Famer?
Russell Wilson is turning 30 today (Thursday). He's still definitely in his prime, but boy, has the time gone by fast.
There's no doubt he's the greatest Seahawk QB in team history, but will he make the Hall of Fame?
Let's take a look at the arguments for and against his case.
The Case for Russell Wilson Getting in the Hall of Fame
Russell Wilson has the second highest QB rating in NFL history. Only Aaron Rodgers is better in that category. 100.1 sure is a pretty number. Let's compare it to some Hall of Famers.
Joe Montana (92.3), Peyton Manning (96.5), Dan Marino (86.4), Brett Favre (86.0), Kurt Warner (93.7), and John Elway (79.9) are all well below Wilson in that category. Passer rating has also trended upwards in recent years. Just look at Peyton Manning. His career pass rating with the Broncos (101.7) is significantly higher than his time with the Colts (94.9). That's including his terrible final season where he earned that 67.9 rating. So you can argue that pass rating is a representation of the era. But being second all-time is still pretty amazing.
Wilson owns some pretty cool NFL records too. He's won the most games in his first two (24), three (36), four (46), five (56) and sixth (65) seasons. That also reflects well on the team he's played with over the years. But he's not just a game manager. For his career, he's led 21 fourth quarter comebacks and 26 game-winning drives. For comparison, the "Comeback Kid", Tom Brady, has 43 fourth quarter comebacks and 55 game-winning drives in 18 seasons.
Wilson is also the only member of the 4,000/30/500 club. In 2015, he threw for over 4,000 yards, 30 TDs, and ran for 500 yards in the same season. He's also the first QB to throw for 300 yards and rush for 100 more in the same game. In the playoffs, Wilson is 8-4. For comparison, Dan Marino was 8-10.
Russell Wilson's also been to two Super Bowls, winning one. Multiple Hall of Famers can't say that. (Dan Marino, Jim Kelly, Fran Tarkenton, Dan Fouts.)
The Case Against Russell Wilson Getting in the Hall of Fame
Now, before I start, I need to reiterate that Russell Wilson is still very much in his prime. He's only in his seventh season and quarterbacks tend to play for a while. Peyton Manning played for 18 seasons. Tom Brady is in his 18th. Dan Marino played for 17 seasons. John Elway put in a 16-season career. I'd say Russell Wilson could play at the very least, five more seasons. Realistically, I'd say he'll play 8-10 more. So, there's plenty of time to get his career numbers up.
186 passing touchdowns seems a bit low, especially in this pass-happy era. His highest single season total is 34, which he's done twice. The good news is how low he keeps his interception total each year. His highest single season total is 11. For comparison, Eli Manning has thrown over 20 INTs three different times. His worst total was 27 in 2013. He's never had less than 10 INTs in a single season, since his rookie season, where he threw 9 in 9 games. So, in summary, Russell Wilson's apparent allergy to throwing interceptions has served him well in his career. That's probably why he's second all-time in pass rating.
Another glaring hole in Wilson's resume is his lack of All-Pro selections. All-Pro is different from Pro Bowls, which Wilson has 4. Pro Bowlers are in layman's terms, a fan popularity vote. All-Pro votes are given by the same folks that vote for MVP. There are first team All-Pro and second team All-Pro selections. Wilson hasn't had one for either category. He's in the same boat as Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger, and Eli Manning. So, in essence, Russell Wilson has never been voted as being one of the best players at his position. That's something that is almost as important as a Super Bowl ring. Dan Marino, Jim Kelly, Dan Fouts, and Fran Tarkenton all had multiple All-Pro selections.
Russell Wilson's trophy is also missing an MVP Award. He's not alone, however. Drew Brees is doing everything in his power to win his first MVP award. It's looking more and more like he Breesus will get it. (Sorry, Kermit the Mahomes.) Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman, Warren Moon, and Jim Kelly are all Hall of Famers without an MVP award. Wilson could snag that MVP award, though. In the first half of his career, he was overshadowed by his historic defense. Now, Russell Wilson is the essential ingredient in Seahawks wins. The fact that Wilson has yet to miss a start in his career suggests his health will give him a larger window than most to secure the hardware. Rich Gannon was the oldest player to win his first MVP at 37. Tom Brady became the oldest MVP in professional sports history last year at 40. So, Wilson has time on his side.
Bottom line, Russell Wilson is still young enough to put together the pieces for his gold jacket. If you were to create a checklist for him, I'd have to say he needs any one of these:
- At least 1 more Super Bowl appearance
- MVP award
- 1 first team All-Pro selection OR 2 more Pro Bowls