There is a lot of buzz around a Seahawks legend returning to Seattle after just one year away from the team. Bobby Wagner was released by the Los Angeles Rams after just one season with the team, and maybe his old stomping grounds are at the top of his list for a return.
Wagner is a prime candidate to be in the Hawks Hall of Fame when his playing days are fully over. He won a Super Bowl with the team, was a six-time First-Team All-Pro, three-time Second-Team All-Pro, eight-time Pro Bowler, and led the league in sacks on two different occasions. Wagner was the heart and the soul of the legendary Hawks defense that gained them so much credit through much of the 2010s.
Of course, this team looked like they were headed for a rebuild last season, so parting ways with Wagner only made sense as his best days looked to be behind him, and a hefty contract wasn’t something that LA was interested in giving him.
The Hawks replaced Wagner with Jordyn Brooks, who racked up 103 solo tackles which was third-best in the NFL, and he didn’t even play out the season. Brooks tore his ACL during a game in early January and missed the rest of the season. For this reason, I see a Wagner reunion as a possibility for the Hawks.
Brooks will likely miss the first part of the 2023 season, and adding a guy like Wagner to the mix, who managed to grab 140 combined tackles, six sacks, and two interceptions despite being 32, is never a bad idea with a young defense that could use a veteran voice.
Now, before we start selling the jerseys and telling you this is an open and closed deal, we have to get some drama out of the way first. There is a chance that Wagner doesn’t want to return to his former team.
He didn’t appreciate how the Hawks released him.
“Crazy part about all this. I played there for 10 years, and I didn’t even hear it from them that I wasn’t coming back,” Wagner tweeted after his release.
The Hawks claim that it was an awkward situation because Wagner represents himself instead of an agent and that it can make things difficult. Both Pete Carroll and John Schneider apologized after the fact for how it all went down, and Carroll even said that it wasn’t something he wanted to happen.
“I’m guilty, too, because I didn’t want it to happen,” Carroll said. “I wanted Bobby to stay with us forever, and so I kept encouraging John, ‘Let’s see what all the options could possibly be so maybe there’s a way out that we don’t have to do this.’ So each day was crucial as we were drawing closer to it. And then really, it seemed like when Russell’s news went out, then everything hit the fan kind of thing. We were supposed to meet with Bobby a couple days after that, and the timing just didn’t work out right. I regret that we didn’t do a better job timing-wise.”
It sounds like Carroll’s regret could go a long way toward how eager he is to get Wagner back if there is mutual interest.
I’d say this, if there is a way to get Bobby Wagner back into a Seahawks uniform, it must be done. This is one of the all-time great Seahawks, if not the greatest defensive player in the franchise’s history. This team could be on the brink of something special depending on how the offseason shakes out and who the quarterback is entering next year.
If Wagner wants to contribute to a full rebirth in Seattle and try to win another ring for the fans that love him dearly, the Hawks would be foolish not to entertain it.
Brock Huard said he texted Wagner this week to figure out where he stands on everything.
“He’s willing to listen,” Huard said. “There are not hard feelings, it is not scorched earth, it is not ‘These guys so disrespected me that I’m not even going to answer the phone.’ There is a decade of background between these two sides, the obvious Hall of Fame career was built in Seattle.”
There is a certain kind of leadership that only certain players can bring to the table, and Bobby Wagner is a guy who brings just that. With a young roster and a new era dawning in Seattle, what better guy to ring it in than the defensive captain who brought the last Super Bowl to the Emerald City?