SEATTLE- The Seattle Seahawks decided to invest in the heart and soul of their defense offering middle linebacker, Bobby Wagner, the most lucrative contract for his position in NFL history, Friday evening.
Wagner signed a three-year $54 million extension with the Seahawks, which will see him stay in the Pacific Northwest until the end of the 2022 season. Wagner doesn’t have the biggest overall contract, that still goes to C.J. Mosley, who signed a five-year $85 million contract with the New York Jets this offseason. However, Wagner’s $18 million per year price tag makes him the highest-paid player at his position in league history.
Wagner’s contract, while a hefty price tag, is a win-win for the Seahawks and the future hall of famer. At 29-years-old the seven-year pro is starting to get to the backend of his career, which has seen plenty of wear and tear. Between the regular season and the postseason, Wagner has racked up 981 tackles in his career, the fifth most among current players. He led the league in tackles in 2016 when he finished with a career-high 167.
Wagner is still a high-level player. In fact, he’s one of the four players the NFL Madden video game series has ranked at the highest possible rating, 99, in their upcoming game, NFL Madden 20. He’s still a tackling machine, finishing last season with 138, his third best season for total tackles. He also had career highs in deflected passes with 11 and forced fumbles with two. He also scored his first career pick-six, bringing his only interception of the season 98-yards for a touchdown in a 43-16 win over the San Francisco 49ers.
Wagner decided to act as his own agent in the negotiations, a risky move which didn’t pay off for former Seahawks Russel Okung and Richard Sherman. He said he’d rather hear the bad stuff from the team rather than an agent.
"I wanted them to say it to my face," Wagner said. "I could take it. Shoot, especially nowadays, you got Twitter, somebody telling you you're trash every day. It can't be worse than Twitter."
One person who’s especially happy to have him back is head coach Pete Carroll, who drafted Wagner in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
"He's been such a treasure in so many ways," Carroll said. "He's meant so much to our franchise. He's been an extraordinary player on the field always, been a great competitor, been just tough as nails to always show up and always be there for us. Better than that, he's a great guy to have in your club and to represent your franchise and if a guy is going to get paid, you want it to be a guy like this."
Wagner and the Seahawks are currently in training camp. They’ll hit the field for first time this upcoming season during the NFL preseason on Thursday, August 8 when they host the Denver Broncos.