Seahawks might have backed themselves into a corner with this great free agent

Seattle has not been aggressive in free agency so far.

Steph Chambers/GettyImages
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The Seattle Seahawks cleared tens of millions of dollars in cap space in the week ahead of free agency. This may have got some 12s to logically think Seattle might approach free agency differently in 2024. After all, former head coach and VP of Football Operations Pete Carroll was gone and general manager (and new President of Football Operations) John Schneider had full control over all roster moves for the first time since 2010.

But what we learned at the beginning of the week is not being aggressive on day one or two of free agency (except for maybe 2023 when Seattle signed defensive lineman Dre'Mont Jones fairly quickly) was not the Pete Carroll design but truly the Seahawks' way. That is fine, of course, as normally a player's asking price might diminish as days go on without a deal in place. Seattle, in theory, could get more good quantity instead of expensive quality.

But Seattle has some position needs that must be addressed. While tight end is no longer a problem as Seattle re-signed Noah Fant and brought in Pharaoh Brown, the interior of the offensive line is still relatively empty, the Seahawks still need safety help, and there are no veteran linebackers under contract currently for 2024. This is, obviously, not good.

Seattle Seahawks might need to talk Bobby Wagner into returning

Seattle saw Jordyn Brooks sign with the Miami Dolphins and linebacker Patrick Queen of the Ravens, who seemed to be a logical choice for Seattle to chase as new head coach Mike Macdonald directed Queen with the Ravens the last two years, signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Seattle now needs at least three linebackers either in free agency or the 2024 NFL draft or both. But one all-time great is still available and the Seahawks might be forced to bring him back.

That player is, of course, Bobby Wagner. Wagner is old for an NFL defensive player as he will be 34 years old next season but he is also still very good. Maybe Schneider and Macdonald want to get younger at the position and that is fine, but Seattle cannot simply sign linebackers because of age, and hope they turn out well. We know Wagner can contribute at a high level even if he is re-signed for just one season.

But Wagner might not want to return. The Seahawks have released him before (2022) and Wagner signed with the Los Angeles Rams so he isn't afraid to play for another team. While Seattle did not outright release Wagner this offseason, they also must have told him to look elsewhere to play in 2024. NFL.com's Ian Rapoport tweeted prior to free agency that Wagner would test the open market and would be "unlikely" to return to Seattle. This would imply the team and Wagner had discussions and the team advised Wagner they would be looking at other linebackers to sign.

Seattle may have no other choice now than to try to talk Wagner into returning. Sure, there are other linebackers available, but few as good as Wagner still is. Also, imagining how Mike Macdonald would use Wagner would certainly be exciting to watch.

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