Bobby Wagner given 99 Madden rating

GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 09: Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 09: Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Seahawks fans have long known the special and rare talent that linebacker Bobby Wagner is, and it looks as though other people are starting to figure it out as well.

Madden released their rankings for the upcoming 2020 version of the game, and the Seahawks’ Bobby Wagner is one of only four players in the league given a 99 rating – and he’s the only middle linebacker to earn the mark.

Not only is Wagner the best middle linebacker in the game. But he is already, after only six seasons in the league, making a strong case for Canton when his career is over. Allow me to demonstrate. Per Pro Football Reference:

Wagner career stats, 103 career games played:

591 solo tackles (5.73 pg), 916 combined tackles (8.89 pg), 9 interceptions (1 TD), 4 forced fumbles (3 TD), 16.5 sacks, 5-time Pro Bowl, 4-time First Team All-Pro.

Anonymous HOF player, 182 career games played:

1040 solo tackles (5.71 pg), 1354 combined tackles (7.44 pg), 22 INT (2 TD), 11 FF (2 TD), 41.5 sacks, 8-time Pro Bowl, 4-time First Team All-Pro.

That anonymous hall of fame player? Brian Urlacher. Talk about good company.

Furthermore, Wagner is currently 5th on the active list of career combined tackles, after just six seasons in the league. That’s absurd. The four guys ahead of him?

Antoine Bethea – 1,223 , drafted 2006
Derrick Johnson – 1,168, drafted 2005
Thomas Davis – 1,111, drafted 2005
Eric Weddle – 1,067, drafted 2007
Bobby Wagner – 916, drafter 2012

I’m literally laughing while typing this. The only four players that are active with more tackles than Wagner were drafted when Wagner was in high school. With Derrick Johnson retiring this May, Wagner will begin to get closer to the top spot on that list which he is poised to take control of as the four ahead of him move into the twilight of their careers.

The numbers are prolific, to put it mildly. Wagner has an innate ability to read a play and position himself to make an impact, both in defending the run and the pass, and even special teams. He cuts through blocking schemes like a knife through butter, and is simply a freakish athlete, as he showed with this blocked field goal on Dec 10, 2018.

He’s a monster on the field, and will continue to be for years to come, but his demeanor and leadership in the locker room as well as the work he does in the community is what solidifies his status as being a team captain and a true leader for this Seahawks team. The impact and the true professionalism of Wagner has rookie linebacker Cody Barton excited to play with and learn from him.

In an interview with John Boyle of, Barton was asked what he hopes to learn from Wagner about being an NFL middle linebacker. “Everything. I talked about it last night. I’m going to stick to his hip, (K.J. Wright’s) hip and just see their routine and what works for them and what makes them a great player and just learn as much as I can from those guys,” Barton said.

Next. The five best Seahawks on the 2019 roster are.... dark

So yes, Bobby Wagner is the greatest middle linebacker in the game today, and I don’t believe it’s particularly close – the numbers show it. Already with one Super Bowl ring, the only question left is how high up the all-time leader board he will climb on his inevitable road to Canton.