The Seahawks addressed one critical need by re-signing QB Geno Smith. Could they do the same with the return of all-time great Bobby Wagner? It’s early, but so far, things are looking good.
The Seahawks entered this off-season with a lot of question marks on the roster. They addressed one of the biggest by giving Geno Smith a three-year deal that will pay him more in year one than he had previously earned in his entire nine-year career. That contract is certainly well-deserved. As many have pointed out, on the day he signed his contract, Smith finally wrote back.
As much as I love Geno, he isn’t quite in the pantheon of Seahawks greats. Not yet, at least. But there is a pending free agent who is. Not only would he resolve another of the Hawks critical position needs, he’d also bring much-needed leadership to the Seattle defense. And he knows his way around the facilities, too, so he won’t need an equipment guy to show him around. Although in his case, I think Jody Allen would be thrilled to give him a tour.
Bobby Wagner would fix the Seahawks’ defense
Of course, we’re talking about the great Bobby Wagner. Selected to the Pro Bowl eight times and named an All-Pro another six, Wagner proved he had plenty of gas in the tank last season with Los Angeles. My contract states I don’t have to write the name of the team, but I’m sure you know where he played. I suppose some naysayers might question Wagner’s age; he’ll be 33 when training camp rolls around. To that, I’ll point out he had 140 tackles – 10 of those for a loss – and only missed two. He set a career-high in sacks with six and had ten QB hits. Yet he was solid in coverage, with five pass defenses, two picks, and a passer rating allowed of 87.1. Yes, the man can still play.
I know, there are two or three of you who can’t wait to say, but he didn’t do that with the Seahawks in 2021. You’re right, he didn’t. The problem is, he was playing for Ken Norton Jr. then. Nor did he have the benefit of Uchenna Nwosu or Tariq Woolen. I’m not saying he’d get another half-a-dozen sacks with Seattle this season if he returns. I absolutely believe we’d see a return to form for the great Bobby Wagner.
The question isn’t if the man can still play. No; it’s if the Seahawks can sign him. I’m sure the manner the Hawks handled Wagner’s release is burned into your memory as well as mine. The fact that one of the best players in franchise history learned he was out of work via a press release is unconscionable. He realized the release was a business decision. But that should have been the result of a face-to-face conversation with both Pete Carroll and John Schneider.
Luckily, it appears that Bobby Wagner is no better at holding a grudge than an opponent (he’s only been called for defensive holding twice in his career). He, Carroll, and Schneider have already had productive discussions about the prospects of having him return to the fold. Schneider dropped the fantastic news on Seattle Sports 710. When asked about the difficulties of dealing with players who represent themselves instead of using an agent, Schneider brought up the Seahawks’ recent talks with Wagner, as reported by 710’s Brandon Gustafson:
"“We’ve been able to talk to Bobby now and address some of those things, so it’s worked out great,” Schneider said. “We’re gonna be in communication as we go along throughout free agency now…. We have been able to (talk to him) now, so (head coach Pete Carroll) and I were able to talk to him the other day, and we had a great, awesome, frank conversation, so he knows where we are, and we know where he’s at,” Schneider said later in the interview."
You can hear it for yourself on the March 9th podcast of The John Schneider Show here. As great as he is, the Hawks need two linebackers, not just one. Happily, there are a few LBs in the draft that would be a great fit for Seattle. As for the man of the hour, it sure sounds like Bobby Wagner is more than a little interested in returning to his true home: Seattle, the Seahawks, and the 12s.