Seahawks agree one-year, $7 million deal to bring back Bobby Wagner

Brady HendersonESPN3 minute read

SEATTLE — Bobby Wagner is returning to where he built his Hall of Fame resume.

The Seattle Seahawks announced on Saturday that they have reunited with the greatest defensive player in franchise history and are filling an important need in their linebacking corps. The move signals that fences have been mended after his tumultuous departure last season.

Wagner’s contract is for one year and is worth $7 million, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The news was announced by Seahawks safety Quandre Diggs, who has publicly opposed Wagner’s return since Wagner and the Los Angeles Rams agreed to part ways earlier last month.

General manager John Schneider said before the start of free agency that he and coach Pete Carroll discussed the possibility of returning to Wagner. On Thursday, Schneider told Seattle Sports 710-AM that the two sides were in talks.

“We spoke to Bobby, and all I can tell you is, let’s see what happens, let’s see how it goes,” Schneider said. “Everyone knows how much respect we have for Bobby…he had a great season last year. We will continue to talk to him, keep in touch and see how it goes. »

Wagner is the second former Seahawks player to join the team since free agency began, joining defensive tackle Jaren Reed. Seattle’s moves so far have focused on strengthening the back seven before struggling mightily in 2022, while moving to a new 3-4 front without their longtime captain Wagner.

In addition to Wagner and Reed, the Seahawks have signed former Denver Broncos defensive end Dre’Mont Jones to a three-year, $51.53 million deal. They released defensive linemen Shelby Harris, Quinton Jefferson and Al Woods.

Wagner’s release from the Rams on March 15 came a year after the nine-time All-Pro linebacker signed a five-year contract with the team. Sources told Schefter that Wagner and the Rams had mutually agreed to part ways.

Wagner, 32, joined the Rams after signing a five-year, $50 million contract with $20 million guaranteed on March 31, 2022. He earned second-team All-Pro honors after recording 140 tackles , 6 sacks and 2 fumbles. Had one interception and 5 passes defended in starting all 17 games. Pro Football Focus ranked Wagner the best linebacker in the NFL last season.

It was the ninth time in 11 NFL seasons that Wagner was named an All-Pro (six times to the first team, three times to the second team). Wagner was released by the Seahawks last March after 10 seasons with the team. He expressed his displeasure publicly and directly to the team’s decision-makers over how he understood their plans to get away from him even before hearing from them.

The Seahawks moved Cody Barton into a starting role at linebacker alongside Jordin Brooks. Barton signed in free agency after a turbulent season with the Washington Commanders. Brooks tore his ACL in December, jeopardizing his availability for the start of the 2023 season. Seattle signed former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Devin Bush to a one-year, $3.5 million contract.

Wagner has 1,523 tackles, 29.5 sacks, 13 interceptions and 6 forced fumbles in his career.

ESPN’s Nick Wagoner contributed to this report.


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