Bobby Wagner will not play for the Seattle Seahawks in 2022, which is a sentence he likely didn’t intend to read when the NFL offseason began.
Alas, life in the NFL often comes down to business, which is why the Seahawks moved on from Wagner and Pro Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson. It’s also why the Cleveland Browns gave up six draft picks to acquire Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson and his 22 pending civil cases alleging sexual misconduct and assault.
Now, ahead of his first season with the Los Angeles Rams, Wagner wants the football world to know he’s both grateful for his Seahawks tenure and ready for the future.
Bobby Wagner is trying not to dwell on the end of his Seahawks career
Shortly after the new league year began on March 16, the Seahawks officially cut ways with Wagner … without telling him. In fact, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider admitted they didn’t communicate with the six-time first-team All-Pro linebacker before cutting him loose.
One might understandably believe Wagner wants to prove the Seahawks wrong, especially after he signed with the rival Rams. And, yes, the eight-time Pro Bowler does want to show out when he faces his former team next season. Who wouldn’t?
However, as Wagner recently told NBC Sports’ Peter King, he’s not trying to dwell too much on how things ended.
“Definitely I want to make sure when I play them, I’m at my best. I’m definitely motivated to be at my best when I play them. But I think I’m old enough to know that relationships are important and life is short. To hold grudges and have that type of hate in your heart just doesn’t sit with me.”Bobby Wagner
Wagner arrived in 2012 and eventually watched the Seahawks part ways with star defenders Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman. The recent flurry of transactions means no players remain from the team that celebrated a Super Bowl 48 victory after the 2013 season.
“I’ve been a part of that organization long enough to see certain guys lash out, but then as time heals, they start to come back around the building,” Wagner told King. “So, for me, it was centered around business. It had nothing to do with me personally. It’s more just something they felt that they had to do from a business perspective.”
Wagner has the right attitude, and he should be commended for his approach
Business is business, but emotions are emotions. Players who feel they were wronged, especially when it involves a lack of communication regarding a release, have every right to feel angry with the team in question. Who are we to judge, espeically if it’s a player like Wagner who departed as arguably the greatest defensive player in franchise history?
Even still, Wagner should be commended for the approach he’s taking to his release. He might be disappointed at how things ended, and he definitely wants to get revenge when given the chance, but the Utah State product won’t let this chapter’s ending rule the rest of the book.
When he spoke with reporters after signing with the Rams, Wagner said the opportunity to play the Seahawks twice next season “was a cherry on top.” It should help that he joined the defending Super Bowl champions, while the Seahawks are widely expected to miss the postseason for a second straight season.
Wagner told King that the release doesn’t change his perspective on Carroll, Schneider, or owner Jodi Allen. He even went to a Seattle Kraken hockey game recently and said the local fans were “amazing.”
“My time there was great. I love the fans there. How it ended, I’m not going to let it take away from my time there.”Bobby Wagner
Wagner’s time in the Ring of Honor will come, and he’ll always have a Super Bowl title to treasure from his time with the Seahawks. For now, though, he plans on doing everything in his power to ensure the Rams sweep the Seahawks next season.
Something tells us Wagner, who turns 32 in June, wouldn’t have it any other way.