Even if they somehow ever wind up as teammates, Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner will be forgiven if he doesn’t get Malcolm Butler a Christmas gift.
Wagner, the Seahawks’ veteran All-Pro linebacker, has had much to be happy about in his career. Since entering the league in 2012, Wagner has been one of the NFL’s top linebackers, made plenty of money both for his on-field play and off-field decisions, and won a Super Bowl.
That doesn’t mean Wagner, now in his ninth season with the Seattle Seahawks, has no regrets. Wagner just relived possibly the worst moment in his career.
Bobby Wagner is among the NFL’s best linebackers
Somehow, the Seattle Seahawks’ 2012 draft class received consensus low grades from draft analysts.
The phrase ‘somehow’ is only invoked because Seattle received those grades in a class that featured two likely Pro Football Hall of Fame players.
The Seahawks’ decision to draft Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson in the third round has always stood out, but the team selecting Bobby Wagner in the second round deserves more credit.
In his first eight seasons, Wagner played in 124 games (starting 123) and totaled 58 tackles for a loss, forced five fumbles, snagged 10 interceptions, recorded 19.5 sacks, and scored four defensive touchdowns.
Wagner has earned seven straight Pro Bowl appearances and four consecutive first-team All-Pro selections. The veteran linebacker also earned first-team All-Pro honors in 2014.
Wagner is building an impressive Hall of Fame case
Seahawks fans may not want to think about Bobby Wagner and the Hall of Fame just yet, if only because that means he’ll retire soon.
Wagner, who turned 30 in June, has certainly put up the numbers worthy of a bronze bust. Along with pass-rushers like Chandler Jones and the injured Von Miller, Wagner is arguably the league’s top linebacker right now.
Wagner can opt out of his deal after the 2020 season. Otherwise, he is under contract through 2022, when he will be 32.
Bobby Wagner just relived the heartbreak of Super Bowl 49
Bobby Wagner doesn’t seem to have many regrets at this point, at least when it applies to his NFL career.
But, there is one moment that haunts him and Seahawks fans alike. In the final minute of Super Bowl 49, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll famously opted to have quarterback Russell Wilson throw at the goal-line rather than run the ball with Marshawn Lynch.
Patriots rookie cornerback Malcolm Butler snagged the ball for an interception. New England won, 28-24, for its first Lombardi Trophy since February 2005.
Nearly six years after that moment, Wagner revealed his reaction to the play in an interview on Truss Levelz, a podcast on The Players’ Tribune.
“Marshawn should have ran it [for sure]. Everybody knows that but that was a great play…It was a dope play but it got even greater when you hear the backstory how he [Malcolm Butler] was making mistakes in practice.”
Unfortunately for Wagner, the Seahawks haven’t returned to the Super Bowl since then. However, Seattle opened the 2020 season with five straight wins and currently look like the NFC’s most dangerous team.
Malcolm Butler is currently on the Tennessee Titans, who came one game short of a Super Bowl appearance last year. Could the opportunity present itself where Wagner gets his chance at revenge in February?
If the Seahawks find themselves in a similar situation at that point, Wagner might want to make sure Pete Carroll has Wilson handoff to Chris Carson. Just to be safe and all.