Wagner had spent his entire career in Seattle, joining the organization when he was selected in the second round of the 2012 draft. He came off the board a round before future teammate Russell Wilson…who, of course, was traded to the Broncos earlier today. Wagner and Wilson were previously the two longest-tenured members of their team.
Wagner quickly established himself as a key member of the Seahawks defense, starting 15 games as a rookie. He started all three playoff games during the Seahawks Super Bowl-winning 2013 campaign, and he then proceeded to go on an eight-year run of Pro Bowl and All-Pro selections. During that stretch, Wagner averaged 145 tackles per season, and he’ll leave the organization as the Seahawks’ all-time leader in tackles.
The 31-year-old was still productive in 2021, compiling a career-high 170 tackles to go along with three tackles for loss and three QB hits. However, his $20.35MM cap hit for next season had Wagner admitting that he could be done in Seattle.
“You think about it,” Wagner said in December (via ESPN’s Brady Henderson). “You think about what the next year looks like and what the future holds because this was a season that I don’t think we all planned for. We didn’t plan for the season to go this way, so obviously there’s going to be some changes and whether or not I’m part of those changes, I don’t know.”
With Wilson gone, it was clear that the Seahawks were pivoting toward a rebuild. This move will save the organization $16.6MM against the cap. He’ll leave behind $3.75MM in dead cap.