Huard: One reason Seahawks may look to bring back Bobby Wagner

Feb 27, 2023, 3:49 PM

Seahawks Bobby Wagner Gabe Jackson...

Rams LB Bobby Wagner goes up against Seahawks RG Gabe Jackson on Jan. 8, 2023. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

One former Seahawks star may have owned the headlines this weekend, but a day before The Athletic’s bombshell report about Russell Wilson came out, another franchise legend was in the news for a different reason.

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Perennial Pro Bowl linebacker Bobby Wagner will reportedly part ways with the Los Angeles Rams, possibly opening the door for him to return to the Seahawks after just one season away.

There’s a lot to unpack there, as Seattle Sports’ Stacy Rost did in a recent column here on the site, and on Monday, the conversation turned to the likelihood of a reunion.

Former Seahawks quarterback Brock Huard, who is now a FOX football analyst in addition to co-host of Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk, shared his insight on the situation during the daily Blue 88 segment where he answers three football questions.

“I may or may not have texted him to at least ask and get the temperature, and the temperature is he’s willing to listen,” Huard said.

While the Seahawks willingly parted ways with Wagner last year, there’s a reason Huard could see them being interested in signing him back for 2023. That would be that Jordyn Brooks, who took over Wagner’s spot as the Seahawks’ middle linebacker and signal-caller on defense, suffered an ACL tear late in the 2022 season and is likely to miss the start of the next one.

“If Jordyn Brooks were here and healthy, this wouldn’t be a conversation. I really don’t think it would be,” Huard said. “He’s your middle linebacker. And you know, as (former Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright) has told us, as (coach Pete Carroll) has told us, he’s the heartbeat, man. He’s got the juice. But that injury is a significant injury. That is an ACL that happened late in the year, and to count on him being back any time in August, September, October I think is highly unrealistic. It takes some guys well over a year to come back. So I think that opens the door for the conversation.”

Negotiations could be tricky, though. Wagner, 32, represents himself as his own agent, and there were concerns that he and the Seahawks didn’t leave on the best of terms when he was released by the team last offseason. Wagner tweeted that he didn’t find out about his release from the Seahawks directly, which general manager John Schneider owned up to.

“Yeah, that’s on me. I own that,” Schneider said at the NFL combine last year in response to a question about Wagner’s accusation.

Would that be a hurdle that the Seahawks need to jump over if they decide they want to reunite with Wagner?

“He’s willing to listen,” Huard said. “There are not hard feelings, it is not scorched earth, it is not ‘These guys so disrespected me that I’m not even going to answer the phone.’ There is a decade of background between these two sides, the obvious Hall of Fame career was built in Seattle.”

There are two different hurdles that may be harder for the Hawks to clear, though.

“I think his leadership, I think his captaincy, and most importantly, I think his power and his speed are all still there,” Huard said. “But it’s all about the number. It is, what’s it going to cost you? Because if there are other teams – I’ve seen the Chiefs floated around, who’ve got some (salary) cap space, and maybe other opportunities – that he looks at and says, ‘Yeah, it was great in Seattle and I love Seattle, but A, I’m gonna get paid more, and B, I’m gonna be on a team if it is Kansas City that’s got all the pieces in place, including the quarterback, and I want to win another ring, I don’t think (the Seahawks) will be able to compete with that.

“… Am I telling you he wants to end (his career) in Seattle? I am not. He is gonna go to the market, and the market is what the market is willing to pay, and I think that will play a big role, as will whether or not a legitimate bona fide Super Bowl contender like Philly, like Kansas City (are interested). If they are in play, that may be tough to compete with, as well.”

You can listen to the full Blue 88 segment, which airs live at 7:45 a.m. during each edition of Brock and Salk, in the podcast at this link or in the player below.

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