John Schneider: Seahawks have talked to LB Bobby Wagner about return
Mar 9, 2023, 6:14 PM
(Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Last offseason, the Seahawks parted ways with one of the best defenders in franchise history. Just over a year later, the two sides may be reuniting.
That player is Bobby Wagner, a nine-time All-Pro linebacker who spent his first 10 NFL seasons in Seattle after the Seahawks drafted him in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
After eight All-Pro seasons in Seattle, Wagner was cut last offseason by the Seahawks the same day they traded quarterback Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos. Wagner then signed with the Rams, where he was an All-Pro yet again and had a big season, but he was cut by the Los Angeles this offseason, making him a free agent for the second offseason in a row.
During his weekly visit with Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob, Seahawks general manager John Schneider was asked about players like Wagner representing himself without an agent. That led to Schneider dropping a bit of eye-raising news.
“We’ve been able to talk to Bobby now and address some of those things, so it’s worked out great,” Schneider said. “We’re gonna be in communication as we go along throughout free agency now.”
The Seahawks certainly could use an inside linebacker like Wagner in free agency as one 2022 starting inside backer Cody Barton is a pending free agent after an up-and-down season while Jordyn Brooks tore his ACL in Week 16 and may not be ready for the start of the 2023 season.
Wagner and other former Seahawks like Russell Okung and Richard Sherman have represented themselves without an agency in contract talks, and Schneider discussed how that can be difficult in negotiations.
“When you really care about somebody like that, like we do with with Russ and Sherm and Bobby, no matter what, you’re gonna get into uncomfortable conversations,” Schneider said. “If there’s a buffer there, that’s great, and I personally think it helps. Bobby may disagree with me, but I think that no matter what, you’re gonna get into awkward situations. Personally, I pride myself on the relationship I have with the players in trying to be as straightforward with them as I possibly can to help them and to protect the organization, and sometimes that communication is hard.”
That’s what ultimately led Schneider to saying the Seahawks have been able to talk to Wagner and will plan to keep talking in free agency.
“We have been able to (talk to him) now, so (head coach Pete Carroll) and I were able to talk to him the other day, and we had a great, awesome, frank conversation, so he knows where we are, and we know where he’s at,” Schneider said later in the interview. “We have so much respect for him personally and professionally, so we were able to talk through some things and yeah, we know where it’s going.”
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