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Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner
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Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner had good reason to negotiate his own contract

Bobby Wagner and the Seahawks' defense will try to contain Ravens QB Lamar Jackson. (Getty)

When you’re a perennial All-Pro with a Super Bowl ring and a 99 rating in the latest edition of Madden, nobody would fault you for letting agents and lawyers take care of all of your business for you.

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But when it became time for Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner to negotiate a new contract, he saw an opportunity to learn and help him prepare for his life after football. So that three-year, $54 million deal he signed last month? He negotiated it all by himself.

“The main (reason) was to challenge myself because every offseason I kind of spend my time learning different businesses and interning and doing things like that, so it was something that interested me,” Wagner told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock and Salk at Seahawks headquarters on Thursday. “I said, ‘OK, how can I do something business-related while I’m still in the league?’ and I looked at negotiating my deal as something that I could do if I put the work in, so I did that.”

What may prove to be the most important benefit of Wagner taking some of his business affairs into his own hands, which includes his relationship with the Jordan Brand, is how it will factor into the years following his current contract with the Seahawks.

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“Players kind of rely on the middle man the vast majority of their career,” Wagner said. “You think about guys that got Nike or Jordan contracts, they always rely on their agent so that when they’re done playing football they don’t have no relationship or contact – you’ve been with Nike or Jordan for like 13 years and you don’t know anybody. So a lot of it was just taking the middle men out of it and starting to create those relationships for yourself.”

So, how does Wagner feel about the experience now that the negotiations are over?

“It was fun,” he said. “… There was a lot that kind of went into it but I had been thinking about it and preparing for it for a while. I felt like I did my homework, reached out to various different people in different avenues that negotiate deals that’s not just football, and so I felt like that helped me prepare for that.”

To hear the full interview with Wagner, click here.