One of the finest inside linebackers in the NFL has suddenly become available, and the Seahawks could use one.
The linebacker is Bobby Wagner, which complicates matters.
Yet, a reunion is still conceivable, right?
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the nine-time All-Pro and the Rams amicably decided to split ways on Thursday. Wagner is a willing salary cap victim, according to Schefter, since the Rams need more cap space (they are $14 million over), and Wagner wants to win (which may or may not be in the cards for a team that went 5-12 last year).
Wagner can’t join with a new club until the league year begins on March 15, but doing so would undoubtedly assist the Seahawks with their biggest problem (more on that in a moment).
In March 2022, Wagner, who played for Seattle for ten seasons and won a Super Bowl there, agreed to a five-year, $50 million contract. Wagner did well, despite LA’s catastrophic decline after winning the 2021 Super Bowl. In addition to 140 tackles, a career-high six sacks, and two interceptions, he started every game.
According to Pro Football Focus, he was also excellent against the run and only missed four tackles entire season.
What a seamless transition to the Seahawks’ main problem! Seattle became better at stopping the pass last year. This was partly because of the outstanding play of its defensive backs, especially rookie cornerback Tariq Woolen. Yet, it was partly because teams could run more regularly, reducing the necessity for throwing. Only Houston and Chicago, who have the Nos. 1 and 2 choices in this year’s draught, respectively, allowed more running yards per game than Seattle. The Hawks’ running yardage average increased from 99.6 in 2020 to almost 152 in 2021. Many opponent rushers, including Josh Jacobs, Alvin Kamara, Rachaad White, Cordarrelle Patterson, Jamaal Williams, and Jamaal Williams all set season highs for running yards versus Seattle.
Who knows whether Seattle or Wagner would welcome a reunion. Wagner’s stint with the Seahawks has received public accolades from both coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider, but the professional relationship ended poorly when Wagner apparently found out about his dismissal through other sources.
Weird aspect of this all. Wagner tweeted after learning of the news, “I played there for 10 years & I didn’t even hear it from them that I wasn’t going back.
At a March news conference, Schneider admitted responsibility for the misunderstanding, telling reporters that while Wagner’s position as the former Seattle star’s agent made things difficult, he wished he had handled the situation differently.
In the past, I could have argued against bringing Wagner back. This is a squad that should be becoming younger and more competitive, not because of Wagner himself, who was as reliable a performer and leader as you’ll see. a group that should refrain from splurging on temporary solutions. A group that was focused on entering a new era in 2022 may do it again in 2023.
That is, until a sizable gap in the defense’s midsection appeared.
Jordyn Brooks, an inside linebacker, had surgery in January after undergoing surgery last season for an ACL tear. Cody Barton, a fellow inside linebacker, struggled and will soon be an unrestricted free agent. Seattle will need to acquire a linebacker this summer, regardless of Wagner’s situation. Linebacker depth problems may be temporarily addressed by signing a free agent if the defensive line receives draught priority.
If only Bobby Wagner was able to sign a veteran’s minimum contract. Wagner has a heckuva talent, but sadly the NFL’s labour regulations aren’t set by caricature railroad tycoons. As a result, paying for skill costs money. He was a revered team leader and regularly had a positive effect on the locker room, which is worth highlighting once again. It would be a difficult task for Seattle’s capologist to negotiate agreements to re-sign quarterback Geno Smith, bring back Wagner, and court a top-tier free agent defensive lineman like Javon Hargrave, even with top-10 cap room.
The addition of Wagner would be the icing on top of a much better defence, but Seattle may not be up for such an emotional reunion. Wagner’s supporters could be forced to support him elsewhere while still yearning for his return.
While Quandre Diggs, a safety in the Pro Bowl, has already fired the first shot, it won’t stop others from attempting.