Russell Wilson who? The Seahawks have been progressing forward since the Russell Wilson era and just took the next step in moving on from the veteran.
Quarterback Russell Wilson gave a decade of solid performances to the Seattle Seahawks. Some years were better than others, but there’s no doubt that he was considered the franchise quarterback shortly after he was drafted by Seattle in 2012.
So when the Seahawks turned around and gave Wilson’s old number, No. 3, to some lesser-known defender this offseason, it was seen as a slap in the face.
One year after Wilson was traded to the Denver Broncos, the Seahawks have handed down his number to 27-year-old cornerback Artie Burns.
Technically, Burns got to pick his own number, and he had three to choose from: No. 3, No. 43, and No. 48.
The number he wore last year for Seattle was No. 21 (now taken by fifth overall pick Devon Witherspoon), so maybe Burns picked No. 3 because it was the sum of two and one.
Seahawks give Russell Wilson’s old number to Artie Burns
But it still seems strange from the Seahawks franchise’s perspective that they would let someone take Wilson’s number so soon.
Burns, a former first-round pick by the Steelers, played just three games for the Seahawks in 2022 after suffering an unfortunate injury in training camp. Last season was his first year in Seattle; prior to that, he got his start on the Steelers defense and spent some time with the Bears as well.
Out of all the players to take Wilson’s number, the Seahawks give it to someone who hasn’t even played 30 total snaps with the organization?
Plenty of players’ numbers aren’t officially retired by their respective teams, but there tends to be an unspoken understanding that those numbers are off-limits.
This clearly wasn’t the case for Wilson’s classic No. 3. His legendary status in Seattle takes a blow after this awkward number switcheroo, but this just shows how much the Seahawks are distancing themselves from their past. A new era begins.