Seahawks, Bobby Wagner Agree To Deal

MARCH 30: More details are in on the contract bringing Wagner back to Seattle. Of the $7MM in maximum value, $5.5MM is guaranteed in full across a base salary, signing bonus and roster bonus, per Sirius XM’s Howard Balzer (Twitter link). That leaves a modest amount of added value available through incentives for the future Hall of Famer as he looks to pick up where he left off in Seattle on a far smaller contract than the one he inked last offseason.

MARCH 25: One year after linebacker Bobby Wagner departed the Seahawks, he is now set to return to his original NFL home. Seattle is reuniting with Wagner on a one-year, $7MM deal (Twitter link via Tom Pelissero of NFL Network).

The 32-year-old spent the first 10 years of his career in the Emerald City, establishing himself as a franchise icon along the way. A key member of the ‘Legion of Boom,’ Wagner was at the heart of the team’s defensive success and consecutive Super Bowl appearances. Now, he will rejoin his original team after a short-lived excursion within the NFC West.

Wagner had his latest Seahawks extension terminated last offseason, which opened the door to him departing in free agency. He elected to join his hometown Rams on a five-year, $50MM deal in the hopes of helping the veteran-leaden team repeat as champions. Nothing went according to plan in Los Angeles in 2022, however, and they have now turned their attention to clearing many of their burdensome contracts. That included granting Wagner’s request to be released at the start of the new league year.

That move immediately led to speculation that a Seattle return could be in the cards. Both GM John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll spoke with Wagner earlier this month to discuss a potential deal, though the Seahawks had a number of other moves planned to augment their defense. That included the signing of former Steelers first-rounder Devin Bush on a prove-it deal, one which gave the team a starting-caliber option but in no way precluded them from luring Wagner back. This deal for the latter marks another notable defensive addition for Seattle.

The Seahawks have added defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones and safety Julian Love in free agency, giving all three levels of their defense an upgrade when combined with this Wagner reunion. The latter will once again be able to team with 2020 first-rounder Jordyn Brooks, who has filled the statsheet over the past two seasons after becoming a full-time starter at the LB position. Given Wagner’s production last season, a repeat of his peak performances may not be out of the question.

The 2010s All-Decade team member was one of a few key players able to remain healthy for the Rams in 2022, and he proved to be a valuable member of the team’s defense. Wagner totaled 140 tackles, six sacks and a pair of interceptions in his lone Los Angeles campaign. On what should be a substantially improved Seahawks defense, he will be well-situated to post another highly productive season in 2023.

A text from Wagner confirms that he is “happy to be back” (Twitter link via Pelissero’s colleague Ian Rapoport). His return should set the Seahawks up for a significant step forward in terms of their run defense in particular, after they ranked 30th in the league in yards allowed on the ground in 2022. Presuming the unit improves, a repeat of their playoff appearance from last year would come as little surprise, something which would give Wagner the opportunity to add even further to his legacy in Seattle.

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