When asked about whether he had thought about being a part of the Seattle Seahawks long-term plans on Thursday, Bobby Wagner responded fairly simply, “…obviously there’s going to be some changes and whether or not I’m part of those changes, I don’t know.”
Wagner has quietly had one of the most prolific middle linebacker careers of all time, and he’s been just as big a part of the Seahawks’ run of greatness as pieces like Russell Wilson and Pete Carroll. He’s a sure-fire Hall of Famer and is practically a lock to have his jersey retired by the organization.
However, it may be time for the Seahawks to move on from Bobby Wagner from a pure business standpoint.
We all love Wagner so much and it will be odd to see a Seahawks defense without him, but there are several reasons that it makes perfect sense to cut Bobby in the 2022 offseason before the 2022 season. Let’s take a look at them.
3 Reasons it makes sense for Seahawks to cut Bobby Wagner in 2022
Number one: Financial Opportunity
By cutting Wagner before the 2022 season begins, the Seahawks will save $16.6 million against their salary cap for the year. To put that into perspective, there were a few sterling free agents in 2021 that signed for under $16.6 million per year, including Matthew Judon with the Patriots and Trey Hendrickson with the Bengals.
The Seahawks aren’t excellent about spending money in free agency, but if a new regime comes in, I would love to present them with a big amount of money to spend how they see fit. If free agency isn’t what they desire, this pay cut would help to sign DK Metcalf to an extension.
Number two: Allow Jordyn Brooks to grow
In 2020 when the Seahawks took Brooks at 27th overall, we all knew that it would spell a replacement for Wagner one day. Jordyn Brooks has been steadily improving all year, and though he’s not exceptional in coverage, the middle linebacker doesn’t have to cover as often. With Wagner gone, Brooks would get to step right into the head linebacker role as he did in college, and I think he would continue to excel.
Seeing Brooks in this role would allow Seattle’s coaching staff to decide whether he will be the guy long-term at the position. Not to mention that he’s ridiculously cheap while he’s still on his rookie contract.
Number three: Changing of the guard at coach/front office/quarterback
If there ends up being big changes up top with the Seahawks (Russell Wilson traded, Pete Carroll/John Schneider step down), I believe Bobby will want to move on as well. Any change like this acknowledges the fact that Seattle will enter a rebuilding process, at least for one full year.
If this happens, it would be good to let Bobby move on to a competitive team as he nears the end of his career. He would be a good player on another team, and I don’t think he’d like to stick around on a young team that’s a few years away from competing for anything serious.
There’s an off chance that Wagner hangs around for the 2022 season, but it would take lots of things happening: Pete/John/Russ would all have to return, something would need to go horribly wrong with Jordyn Brooks and the Seahawks would have to be comfortable with passing on the extra $16.6 million they would have in free agency if they cut Wagner.
So, while there’s a chance Bobby is back next season, take care to enjoy his play over the last two games of the year.