Bobby Wagner moving on makes sense for the Seahawks and the player

Wagner leaves Seattle for the second time though the team gave him little choice.

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
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The departure of Bobby Wagner for the Washington Commanders is another gutshot to the soul of the 12s. Surely, there will be no third act for the Seattle Seahawks legend at Lumen Field.

We can't say this was a surprise. After the Seahawks beat the Cardinals in the last game of the 2023 season, Wagner himself said he had no idea where he would be in 2024. As quoted by Bob Condotta in The Seattle Times, the nine-time Pro Bowler said, "There’s a lot of emotions, but I try to be present because you never know what’s going to happen. I don’t know what the future holds but that is out of my control."

That wasn't exactly the statement of a man who'd gotten assurances from his team that he would be back in 2024. Again, this statement was made on January 7th; you know, back when the Hawks were coached by a silver-haired guy with a bubble gum obsession. As you no doubt remember, that all changed just three days later. Pete Carroll was out, and it didn't matter how much he liked BWagz. We didn't know who was coming to the Seahawks then, but clearly, changes would be made.

The new Seattle Seahawks defense won't fit Bobby Wagner's skill set

Even if Pete Carroll had stayed on as coach, there were no guarantees Wagner would have been back this season. As reported by Brady Henderson for ESPN a few days before the Hawks' amazing win over the Cards, Wagner was only sure he'd be back on the field in 2024. He wasn't sure where he'd be, though. When asked how far into the future he looked when he first returned to Seattle in 2023, Wagner said, "I didn't think too far. I just was trying to be present in the moment that I had and trying to make the most out of that and let the cards fall where they may."

Even Pete Carroll, an unabashed fan of Wagner - and who isn't - wouldn't commit completely to a return for the greatest linebacker in Seahawks history. In the same article, Carroll was asked if he planned on bringing number 54 back for another year. His response: "I would think yes. We would love to have him." I don't know, but if it's me and I just talked about how amazing my guy was and how he'd done everything I'd hoped for, I'd have said something like, "Are you crazy? Of course, we want him back!"

As it turns out, it wasn't Pete's decision anyway. It had been widely reported that it wasn't likely that Wagner would be back in Seattle this season. Brock Huard nailed the reason for that on the Brock and Salk Show from Seattle Sports. As he explained, "Bobby is not going to be here because he just cannot cover well enough. Patrick Queen and those guys in Baltimore, the guys (Macdonald had at) Michigan, you’ve got to really run and cover in space." As Huard said, Wagner is a downhill player now, more than ever.

As superhuman as Bobby Wagner is, pass coverage has been his kryptonite. In his 12-year career, his lowest grade (according to Pro Football Focus) has always been in pass coverage. Okay, there was one exception, when he graded marginally better in coverage than in pass rush. But that one season was it. Coverage is definitely his kryptonite. Not the green kind that can really hurt him. More like the red kind that just does weird things, like give him an ant head.

I just had to do something to lighten the mood, because watching Bobby Wagner leave the Seahawks again just sucks. Yes, football is a game, and the NFL is a business. We all know that. But it still hurts to see the best linebacker the Hawks have ever had - one of the best who's ever played anywhere - go to another team again.

There won't be a third act for BWagz in Seattle, you can be sure of that. Nothing other than a ceremonial signing of a one-day contract so he can retire with the Seahawks. Hopefully, that's still a few years away. We were blessed to watch you, Mr. Wagner. Truly blessed.

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