Josh Wilson’s football career has come full circle.
The Seahawks traded the former second-round draft choice and starting cornerback to the Baltimore Ravens on Tuesday for a conditional 2011 draft choice. Wilson grew up in Upper Marlboro, Md., and went to the University of Maryland before joining the Seahawks in 2007.
“There’s no place like home,” Wilson said after being told about the trade following practice. “I went to college a mile away from where I went to high school and now I’m going just down the highway from where I went to college to play in the NFL.
“So I’m not too upset about that.”
Still, the news of his departure from Seattle caught Wilson by surprise. He started 12 games in 2008 and 11 last season. He also is the franchise’s all-time leader kickoff return average (25.76 yards). Off the field, Wilson was the Seahawks’ Man of the Year in 2009 for his work in the community.
This summer, he was competing with former first-round draft choice Kelly Jennings for the starting job on the right side opposite Marcus Trufant.
“I was shocked,” Wilson said. “It’s a business decision. But for me, it’s the best business decision I could have gotten.”
Wilson became expendable because the Seahawks selected cornerback Walter Thurmond in the fourth round of April’s NFL draft and the coaches also like Roy Lewis, the former University of Washington Husky who played in nine games on special teams last year.
“Josh was a great player for us and we love him,” coach Pete Carroll said. “John (Schneider) said when he got here he wanted to create a roster that other teams wanted to come after, and this is an illustration of that. Because of a good draft this year and other players that have been here, we’ve got some good pieces in place that will seize this opportunity. We’re really excited to see how Kelly (Jennings), Walter (Thurmond) and Roy (Lewis) rise up and make the most of this chance.”
Jennings will start at right cornerback, with Thurmond replacing Wilson was the third corner who covers the slot receiver in the nickel defense.
To fill Wilson’s roster spot, defensive end James Wyche was signed.
The Ravens were desperate to acquire a cornerback because Dominique Foxworth tore a knee ligament at the start of training camp and is out for the season.
“He adds depth to our secondary and will help us,” Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome told the Baltimore Sun. “Pending his physical, we expect Josh to be taking snaps against the Jets on opening night.”
Wilson and Foxworth played together for three seasons at Maryland.
“Dominique is the one who taught me so much at Maryland,” Wilson said. “He got me prepared to play at Maryland. So it’s a good situation where I know somebody there who plays the same position.”
Foxworth also remembers Wilson.
“He’s an extremely fiery and aggressive player, and I think he’s very talented,” Foxworth told the Sun. “I know his personality fits into what we’re building here. Josh is a no-nonsense type of guy that fits with this defense and what it means to be a Raven. Off the field, he is a high-integrity guy. He’s a family man who is very smart and community-minded.”
The trade also means a homecoming for Wilson’s wife, Jazmin. They were high school sweethearts.
“She’s probably at home already with the house packed,” Wilson said.