The Seattle Seahawks‘ defensive captain went into full detail regarding his possible future with the team.
Bobby Wagner, the Seahawks’ longest-tenured player and a member of the team since 2012, addressed his impending future with Seattle on Wednesday, January 5. The 31-year-old linebacker still has one year left on his current deal with a $20.3 million cap hit for the 2022 season. However, Wagner is confident he’ll be back in a Seahawks uniform next season.
Wagner — who is currently dealing with a knee injury that may sideline him for the season finale — addressed the idea that Sunday’s game versus the Arizona Cardinals has provided him extra incentive to play due to his uncertain future.
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Wagner Has ‘Optimism’ He’ll Return to Seahawks
“Not really, because in my mind I don’t feel like this is my last time,” Wagner said. “I don’t feel like this is my last time putting on a Seahawks uniform. I don’t feel like this is my last time doing that. I understand there is a business side to this, but there is a lot of optimism on my end that I’ll be back. So I’m not worried about it. Obviously, I can’t control everything. I can only control my part. And my part on this is I feel like I love this city. I love this team. I love the Seahawks. So I always wanted to be a part of a franchise’s good times and bad times and every time. So this is a team that I would love to be able to be a part of for a very, very long time.”
“So on my end, that’s where I’m at, that I’m a Seahawk until they tell me I’m not,” Wagner continues. “So that’s my mindset. So I don’t see it as that was my last game or this next game could be my next game.”
Wagner’s comments are in contrast to the one he gave last week when the topic came up. The 10-year linebacker was uncertain regarding his future considering the Seahawks are on the verge of suffering a double-digit loss season for the first time during his career.
“Whether or not I’m part of those changes, I don’t know,” said Wagner.
Wagner’s Play Remains at a High Level
Wagner’s current $17.1 million cap hit for the 2021 season is the second-highest number on the team, after Russell Wilson.
The veteran linebacker is the last remaining holdover from the “Legion of Boom” defense that led the Seahawks to back-to-back Super Bowl appearances during the 2013 and 2014 seasons.
Despite his age and high cap number, Wagner remains a premier player. The former second-round draft pick holds a 70.8 defensive grade (according to Pro Football Focus) and ranks 14th in the NFL among all linebackers. And while he may be dealing with nagging injuries entering the season finale, Wagner remains extremely durable — his 1,129 snaps lead all Seahawks defensive players.
While Wagner may have a hard time replicating the three-year, $54 million contract extension ($40.2 million guaranteed) he inked prior to the start of the 2019 season, he remains a vital part of the team’s future.
Considering his value due to his experience and his consistent level of play, the Seahawks should make it a priority to re-sign Wagner.