Current Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner
Maybe due to his position at inside linebacker, when the Seahawks were becoming a dominant defense in the early 2010s, some overlooked Bobby Wagner. I don't mean 12s, of course, but more in national name recognition. Wagner also wasn't as demonstrative as Sherman, Thomas, and even Kam Chancellor. Wagner wasn't a robot; He showed emotion at times. But he simply went about his job at one of the highest levels the NFL has ever seen from an ILB. He still does.
But there is a definite argument to be made that even in the early part of last decade, Bobby Wagner was the best player on Seattle's ridiculously good defense. He was the defensive signal caller and the ability to have clear and proactive on-field communication was another reason that the Seahawks defense was elite. Plus, Bobby Wagner just crunched ball carriers when he hit them.
Wagner is on the list because five years after he decides to retire he needs to be voted into Canton. He is a no-doubt Pro Football Hall of Famer. He is a six-time First-Team All-Pro and has made the Second-Team on three other occasions. He even received an MVP vote in 2014. Basically, Bobby Wagner has received one more MVP vote than Russell Wilson has. That's not to diss Wilson, but just to prove a point as far as how good Wagner has been.
Wagner has led the league in tackles twice and has had 10-plus quarterback hits four times. That's a high number for an inside linebacker. He's also an eight-time Pro Bowler. But really separates Wagner from other players of his era is his leadership. He stays calm which helps keeps his teams calm. Because of that, he is going to make a huge difference on the 2023 Seahawks defense.