John Schneider explains how Seahawks’ talks went with Bobby Wagner

Mar 31, 2023, 5:02 PM

Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner...

Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner will be key against the Tennessee Titans. (Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

(Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Last year, the Seahawks made a difficult decision to part ways with a franchise icon. Just over a year later, that star has returned to Seattle.

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Nine-time All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner is back with the Seahawks after spending the 2022 season with the Los Angeles Rams, where he earned second-team All-Pro honors. He signed a one-year deal reportedly worth $7 million, and that news was first reported and made official last Saturday.

During his weekly interview with Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob last Thursday, Seahawks general manager John Schneider was asked about Wagner potentially returning to Seattle, but he didn’t have much to say on the topic.

“No,” Schneider said when asked if adding inside linebacker Devin Bush has an impact on a potential reunion with Wagner. “You know, we’ve been talking to Bobby, and what I can tell you is we’ll see what shakes out, see how this goes.

“You know how much respect we have for Bobby. … He had a great season this last year. We’ll continue to speak with him and stay in touch and see how this goes.”

Well, there’s a reason Schneider didn’t share much last week, as he explained during his visit with Wyman and Bob this Thursday.

“So I was on the phone with you guys and we were waiting to jump on a plane to go to Lexington (for Kentucky’s pro day) and I was speaking to you guys and I got the question about Bobby Wagner, which was awkward because I had a plan to meet with Bobby (coming up),” he said. “So yeah, that was pretty awkward.”

So how did that all come together? Schneider broke down last week’s events leading up to Wagner re-signing.

“We flew to Lexington (Thursday) night, hung out, got up (Friday) morning, went to (Kentucky’s) workout, flew back from the workout and I got home, took my wife to dinner that night, got up early in the morning, then got in the office with (vice president of football administration) Matt Thomas, got together with him for a while and figured out what we’re going to try to accomplish meeting with Bobby,” Schneider said. “I went to (vice president of player engagement) Mo Kelly’s house, met with Bobby all afternoon, we came to an agreement, went down signed up those papers. Exciting stuff, right? Bringing Bobby back. Everybody’s jacked up for that.”

“We wanted to reach out to Bobby as soon as he was let go. You also to be very careful with an iconic player like that, arguably the best defensive player in the team’s history,” Schneider later said. “We want to make sure everybody’s on the same page and that communication is straightforward, clear and honest as you could possibly be throughout the free agency period.”

While Schneider wouldn’t share what the Seahawks’ plan for Wagner is on the field in 2023, he did share that both head coach Pete Carroll and defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt have talked to Wagner about expectations and his role.

“(They painted) just a clear picture of what things things will look like, (or at least) as clear as we can be, because we don’t really know how things are gonna go with guys’ rehabs and all that,” he said. “But we’re trying to get Devin and Bobby out there, obviously, to start out and then as soon as (Jordyn Brooks is) back, hopefully we’ll get him in the mix and get him going as well. ACLs are never a fun deal to come back from, right?”

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