The Seattle Seahawks ripped the hearts of their fans out in a single day. The front office traded Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos. Then, they decided to release Bobby Wagner. The latter didn’t care for how the Seahawks organization handled the process, so he took aim at head coach Pete Carroll and the front office.
Wagner was part of a special 2012 draft class that also included Wilson. The eight-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker likely saw the writing on the wall. Still, he expected more class from the franchise he gave his heart and soul to.
Bobby Wagner rips Pete Carroll and Seahawks front office
The Seattle Seahawks posted a disappointing 7-10 record in 2021. As a result, significant offseason changes appeared inevitable. Still, the loyal fan base had to be hoping the team would keep its core intact. Instead, Seattle cut ties with two of the most respected members of the locker room.
When the team announced it would be releasing Bobby Wagner, it was a blow to the fans. The 31-year-old had been a cornerstone of the defense for the past decade.
While Wagner understands it’s a business, he wished the top brass gave him a heads up before they made a move. He took to Twitter to express his frustrations with the front office.
“Crazy part about all this,” Wagner said. “I played there for 10 years, and I didn’t even hear it from them that I wasn’t coming back.”
General manager John Schneider released a statement, mentioning how difficult it was to part ways with the veteran linebacker.
“This is an extremely difficult day for the organization,” Schneider said per the Seahawks team website. “Bobby has been at the center of our defense for the past 10 seasons and always represented our organization with class.”
Unfortunately, the organization didn’t send him out the right way, and Bobby Wagner took it as a slap in the face.
The 6-time All-Pro deserved more after what he did for the franchise
Since arriving in Seattle, Bobby Wagner has been all about business. The Seahawks selected him with the No. 47 overall pick in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft out of Utah State.
Wagner recorded 1,383 tackles, 68 tackles for loss, 60 passes defended, 23.5 sacks, 11 interceptions, and six forced fumbles in 151 games. His on-field consistency has earned him eight Pro Bowl selections, six All-Pro selections, and a spot on the Hall of Fame All-2010s Team.
The Los Angeles, California native was a defensive stalwart throughout his time in Seattle. Wagner’s skills and leadership made him an integral member of the Seahawks dynasty years. In a unit that also featured the Legion of Boom, Michael Bennett, and K.J. Wright, he always stood out as one of the best players on the field.
If not for Wagner, there’s no way Seattle achieves as much success as it did over the years. If what he said is true, that’s an inexcusable mistake on the part of the Seahawks. Pete Carroll, John Schneider, and the rest of the front office owe a debt of gratitude to Bobby Wagner for giving it 100% every time he stepped on a football field, along with his contributions off of it.
Seattle is heading toward a complete rebuild
Releasing Bobby Wagner makes plenty of sense from a financial perspective. The Seahawks will save $16.6 million in cash and salary-cap space after his release. He’ll also be 32 years old when the new season kicks off, so it might not have been best to pay him. Still, his departure leaves a massive void in the middle of the defense.
Seattle has never played a season without either Wagner or Russell Wilson. The 2022 season will officially begin a new era for this franchise. The Seahawks struggled in 2021, so the team will likely take another step back without its two most prominent leaders.
The front office has so many questions to answer at this point. Will Drew Lock start at quarterback? Who replaces Wagner? How much longer will Pete Carroll keep his job? Regardless of those answers, fans should not expect to be rooting for a contender in the near future.
Seattle still has some talented players on the roster, most notably D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Chris Carson, and Jamal Adams. Still, the franchise is undoubtedly in rebuild mode.
The Seahawks currently lack direction, and it could be a long time before they’re a winning football team again.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference