Huard: Why Seahawks aren’t expected to re-sign Bobby Wagner

Mar 12, 2024, 9:14 AM | Updated: 10:40 am

Seattle Seahawks Bobby Wagner free agency...

Bobby Wagner of the Seattle Seahawks in play against the Los Angeles Rams on Sept. 10, 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks entered Monday with plenty of big-name players set to hit free agency, and one of those is a franchise icon.

Seattle Seahawks 2024 Offseason Tracker: Free agents, coach moves and more

Linebacker Bobby Wagner, 33, is a free agent after returning to Seattle last year, which came after he spent the 2022 season with the Los Angeles Rams.

A second-round pick in 2012, Wagner has spent all of his career but that 2022 season with the Seahawks. The future Hall of Famer has 10 All-Pro selections and nine Pro Bowl nods, including this past season in Seattle.

But it doesn’t sound like Wagner will be running it back with the Seahawks in 2024.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Wagner is “expected to test the market,” and it’s “currently viewed as unlikely” that Wagner will return to Seattle.

Why is that the case? Former NFL quarterback Brock Huard broke it down during Tuesday’s Brock and Salk on Seattle Sports.

“Bobby’s not going to be here because he doesn’t cover well enough,” Huard said.

Bobby Wagner and Seattle Seahawks no longer a fit?

If Wagner was to stay with the Seahawks, it would be under new head coach in Mike Macdonald, who is coming off two successful seasons as Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator as well as the 2021 season as the Michigan Wolverines’ DC. Huard doesn’t think Wagner fits what Macdonald wants out of his inside linebackers, especially with some notable names available in free agency.

“Some of Mike Macdonald’s kind of free agent linebackers who grade out very high on the pass side of things are very much still in play and very much still out there, and they’re not necessarily named Patrick Queen at the top of that market. So keep an eye on some of that,” Huard said. ” … But Bobby is not going to be here because he just cannot cover well enough. Patrick Queen and those guys in Baltimore, the guys (Macdonald had at) Michigan, you’ve got to really run and cover in space.”

Wagner is a “downhill dude” right now at linebacker, Huard said, and he can still play well against the run.

“But what he is in space and what he was in space was, at times, a liability the last couple years, and certainly last year with the Seahawks,” Huard said.

Huard noted that when watching the Seahawks, he would text his co-host Mike Salk about how in key situations, teams were going to go after Wagner in coverage.

“Like, ‘Watch, third down, they’re gonna just throw right at 54. They’re gonna throw at him and throw at him. They’re just gonna throw into that zone in that situation,'” he said. “So I think that’s why we saw the news earlier in the week that Bobby has gotten indications from the team that ‘you’re free to go test the market.'”

Huard hopes Wagner finds a new home, and he hopes it comes with a different role than he played in 2023.

“I think he can still play the run incredibly well. I think if Bobby Wagner played 50% of the snaps in the game at linebacker and played first and second down, he could still be a difference-making linebacker,” Huard said. “But as a three-down linebacker and one that’s got to play in space and play to some of the scheme that Macdonald wants to do? I just don’t think that’s a fit, and I think they told him so earlier.”

More on the Seahawks’ offseason

• Seahawks to lose Jordyn Brooks to Miami, Damien Lewis to Carolina
• Reports: Seattle Seahawks, Leonard Williams agree to deal
• Seahawks open free agency by re-signing TE Noah Fant
• Another Seahawks TE lands in Los Angeles in free agency
• Will Seattle Seahawks draft QB in first round? A look at what it might take

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