Los Angeles Times

Wilson’s stock rises, and linemen cash in

- By Chuck Schilken

Seattle Seahawks quarterbac­k Russell Wilson bought each of his offensive linemen a Bose SoundTouch 300 soundbar for Christmas last year. That’s a pretty nice gift — those go for about $500 each.

But now that he’s the highest-paid player in the NFL, Wilson wanted to do something really meaningful for the group of guys who had played a huge role in getting him to that point.

“You sacrifice your physical and mental well-being to protect me, which in turn allows me to provide and care for my family,” the five-time Pro Bowl selection wrote in a letter to all 13 of his linemen, which was published online Monday by TMZ. “This does not go unnoticed and it is never forgotten. …

“When I sat down to think of ways to honor your dedication a dozen different ideas came to mind. Some were flashy, some were cool, 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.”

Wilson came up with a pretty cool idea.

“I am gifting you and your family, $12,000 worth of Amazon stock to help you achieve your dreams,” Wilson wrote.

The generous gesture cost Wilson $156,000, but it could end up being worth much more than that to the recipients. According to CNBC, each player’s stake could be worth more than $270,000 in 10 years if Amazon performs as strongly as it has over the last decade.

“You have invested in my life,” Wilson wrote. “This is my investment into yours.”

Off the hook

Von Miller was pretty psyched about the 91⁄2-foot hammerhead shark he caught during a fishing trip off the coast of Miami last spring. The Denver Broncos defensive end posted videos of himself posing with his prize catch, which he later released.

His enthusiasm probably was short-lived. Animal rights groups alerted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservati­on Commission, which prohibits the harvesting of hammerhead­s in state waters, about Miller’s social media posts.

An investigat­ion was opened, with the seven-time Pro Bowl selection possibly facing second-degree misdemeano­r charges that could have resulted in up to 60 days in jail.

Miller and Broncos fans can breathe a sigh of relief. Although the owner and operator of the boat will face two charges resulting from the incident, USA Today reported Tuesday the 2016 Super Bowl MVP will avoid prosecutio­n.

No word on how Left Shark, arguably the real MVP of the previous year’s Super Bowl, feels about the developmen­ts.

On the road again ... and again

Coach Bruce Arians thinks it’s “ridiculous” that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a stretch in their 2019 schedule with six weeks between games at Raymond James Stadium.

After hosting the New York Giants on Sept. 22, the Buccaneers head to Los Angeles and New Orleans before a “home” game against Carolina in London. Then comes a bye week, followed by games in Tennessee and Seattle before finally returning to Tampa to host the Arizona Cardinals on Nov. 10.

“Play them when they’re scheduled,” Arians said Tuesday, according to Greg Auman of the Athletic. “Am I happy about it? Hell, no. I think it’s ridiculous and I voiced my opinion to the people in New York.”

The Chargers have the next-longest such stretch, with five weeks between home games. They host the Green Bay Packers on Nov. 3 before facing the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs (in Mexico City) on the road. Then comes a bye week and games in Denver and Jacksonvil­le before the Chargers return to Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson to play the Minnesota Vikings.

 ?? Ted S. Warren Associated Press ?? SEAHAWKS quarterbac­k Russell Wilson recently signed a four-year, $140-million extension.
Ted S. Warren Associated Press SEAHAWKS quarterbac­k Russell Wilson recently signed a four-year, $140-million extension.

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