What are Bobby Wagner’s comments about Hawks getting at?

May 17, 2024, 10:15 PM | Updated: May 18, 2024, 1:52 pm

Seattle Seahawks Wagner Bobby...

Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner on Jan. 7, 2024. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

For the second time in two years, legendary linebacker Bobby Wagner is now a former Seattle Seahawks player seemingly at odds with the team.

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Back in 2022, Wagner was released by the Seahawks and landed with the NFC West rival Los Angeles Rams, and there was some uneasiness as he disclosed on social media that he did not first hear the news of his release from the team. The two sides were able to bury the hatchet as Wagner returned to Seattle for the 2023 season on a one-year contract, but it turned out to be a short stint back with the Seahawks.

Wagner, who will turn 34 next month, was not re-signed by Seattle and instead signed with the Washington Commanders in March, reuniting with two of his former defensive coordinators with the Seahawks: new Washington head coach Dan Quinn and his linebackers coach, Ken Norton Jr.

On Thursday, Wagner joined the Up & Adams Show with Kay Adams, and he indicated he’s not completely happy with how his latest Seahawks tenure ended.

“My relationship with the city is always amazing, like always great,” Wagner said. “My relationship with the the players and the staff and the people that work there is always great. I just think that some of the upper management didn’t handle things the right way, and it is what it is, it’s part of the business. You know, you always have those things, and I’m sure they’ll get worked out over time. I’m not somebody who holds grudges or anything like that, so I think that’s kind of where it stands.”

Breaking down the situation

So what is Wagner getting at? On Friday’s edition of Bump and Stacy, Seattle Sports’ Stacy Rost reacted to his comments and shared her read on the situation.

“He’s being honest about maybe some sour feelings for the front office, but I think he’s still handling it in a professional way,” Rost said. “I’m not super surprised he feels this way because I think a lot of people would. I also think you can understand (Seahawks general manager/president of football operations) John Schneider’s point of view.”

Wagner isn’t the only starting linebacker who left the Seahawks this offseason, and Rost explained how the state of the position for Seattle likely played into what has gone down this offseason.

“So here’s the situation that I think Bobby is hinting at, or that I rather interpreted it as being about,” Rost continued. “The Seahawks needed inside linebackers. Jordyn Brooks moved on to Miami. You were looking at a draft class where there were no surefire first-round linebackers, and that ended up being the case in this draft.

“If I’m Bobby Wagner, I’m looking at the draft, I’m looking at the money you have to spend, I’m looking at free agency where the top linebacker (Frankie Luvu) has already gone to Washington, and where your middle linebacker has gone to Miami. And I’m going, ‘What options do you have besides me? I know I’m older but I’m a future Hall of Famer. I’m a really, really good starter, and you don’t have a lot of options. You’re really gonna roll the dice instead of just making a safe bet with me? That doesn’t make any sense.'”

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Rost can see why Wagner may have interpreted things as disrespectful.

“That idea of, ‘Did you want to wait and see what you had with the draft? Did you want to wait and see what you could scrape up in free agency?’ I think that when you’re a player who’s been with the team for a decade, you kind of expect to be the first priority, so make a decision or don’t, whatever it is you want to do. That’s what I think that this is about, and I would probably, as would many people, think the way Bobby does where you kind of have your feelings rubbed the wrong way a bit by that.”

The other side of the conversation is easy for Rost to understand, as well.

“If you’re the front office, you’re thinking long-term. You aren’t just thinking about this year,” Rost said. “And you’re looking at a 30-something-year-old Bobby Wagner, your brand-new head coach (Mike Macdonald), and a little bit of grace left for your team as you learn to adjust with the new defense and bringing in new players. And you think, ‘You know what? I can afford to take a step back with linebacker this year if it means that I bring in some young talent or I save money somewhere else.’ So it’s just naturally opposing viewpoints. I’m not surprised (Wagner) is saying it. That’s where I think it stems from. I also don’t know that Seattle made the wrong decision.”

Bump and Stacy airs live from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays on Seattle Sports. Find podcasts of every show at this link.

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What are Bobby Wagner’s comments about Hawks getting at?