Why NFL Star Russell Wilson Thanked His Offensive Linemen With $156K Gift Of Amazon Stock

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Written by Dana Sanchez
Russell Wilson
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson looks to pass on the final day of NFL football training camp, Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014, in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Quarterback Russell Wilson, this year’s highest-paid NFL player, is paying it forward.

Having landed a four-year, $140 million contract extension with the Seattle Seahawks, Wilson gifted his 13 offensive linemen with $12,000 each in Amazon stock, TMZ reported.

In a letter obtained by TMZ, Wilson thanked his team members for protecting him on the field and credited them with helping to make him successful.

“I would not be where I am today without you working to be great day in and day out,” Wilson wrote. “You sacrifice your physical and mental well-being to protect me, which in turn allows me to provide and care for my family. This does not go on noticed and it is never forgotten. Now it is my turn to return the favor.”

Offensive linemen may have the most thankless jobs in the world.

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“Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be offensive linemen,” Neill Woelk wrote in a University of Colorado publication, CUBuffs.com.

“There is no glory on the offensive line,” Woelk added. “Virtually every other position on the team is lauded by media and fans. Quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, linebackers, defensive backs — all get their share of acclaim when they play well. Even defensive linemen, the guys O-linemen are tasked with battling on every play, are celebrated when they are on top of their game. But the only time people hear about offensive linemen is when things go wrong.”

In the letter, Wilson said he had several ideas of how to honor his teammates’ dedication. “Some were flashy, some were cool,” he wrote, “but I wanted to give you something that had a lasting impact. Something that would affect the lives of you, your family, and your children.”

He chose Amazon, he said, because it’s a company he invests in.

“We have to constantly prepare for life after football,” Wilson wrote. “One of the ways I prepare is by investing in companies and ideas that I believe will grow and change the world. One of these companies is Amazon.”

Wilson said, “I am gifting you and your family $12,000 worth of Amazon stock to help you achieve your dreams. You have invested in my life… This is my investment into yours.”

He signed the letter, adding, “We are forever grateful.”