Wagner wants to keep playing, but Seattle future unclear
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RENTON, Wash. (AP) – As the start of his 10th season neared, Bobby Wagner decided he was going to take a stand.
If he was to be mandated to talk every week about the state of the Seattle Seahawks, he was going to use some of that time to focus on things that matter to him.
“I know I come here and answer your guys’ questions and talk about the things you want to talk about, but I decided to change it,” Wagner said on Sept. 8. “This year, before I start, I’m going to talk about something I want to talk about.
Every week for the past three months, Wagner has taken a few minutes to talk about the companies he supports or has invested in, the authors he admires, the philanthropic efforts off the pitch, the importance of mental health. His goal was to create a different kind of dialogue.
Even his aversion to mayonnaise became a subject and sort of went viral.
“I’ve talked about a lot of things so far this year. Financial literacy over and over again. I randomly mentioned mayonnaise, and that’s what goes viral, ”Wagner said on Dec. 15.
But ultimately it all comes down to football and for Wagner, Sunday’s game against Detroit may be one of his last appearances for the Seahawks.
He’s still one of the best middle linebackers in the NFL and enters this week as the league leader in tackles with 170. While his streak of All-Pro first-team selections may come to an end this season, he is. still honored six times and seems destined for a gold jacket in the Pro Football Hall of Fame one day down the road.
But he’s also set to complete 10 seasons playing one of the most physical positions in football. He will be 32 before the start of next season and carries a salary cap of $ 20.35 million in the final year of his contract. And the Seahawks will come out of Pete Carroll’s worst season in tenure with the possibility of some big changes.
Wagner said on Wednesday he intends to continue playing well beyond the 10-year mark.
“You think about what next year will be like and just what the future has in store for you because it was a season that I don’t think we all planned,” Wagner said. “We didn’t expect the season to go like this. So obviously there are going to be changes. And whether or not I am one of these changes, I don’t know. All I can control is those last two games and figure it out from there.
As part of his football education, Wagner learned enough about the collective agreement to have completed his last contract without an agent. It also means Wagner is well aware of the business implications of a team being able to save over $ 16 million in cap space by removing it if they decide to spend that money elsewhere.
At the very least, Wagner’s performance this season should at least get Seattle to think about how he’s moving forward. The Seahawks have played more defensive snaps than any team in the NFL, giving Wagner plenty of chances to rack up tackles at an all-time high.
He’s already set a franchise record for total tackles, surpassing the mark he set in 2016. He needs six more tackles to post the most players since 2000, according to the Seahawks.
As Carroll said this week, Wagner is “the standard” by which other middle linebackers are currently judged.
“To find a guy with that kind of consistency, character and build for the way he does his job, how he runs his business, everyone wants this guy,” Carroll said. “At the very least, it makes a model statement for what you’re looking for. He’s a really great team player in every way. It also explains why we paid him the way we paid him, he was so valuable to our organization, our club, our locker room and our community as well. “
NOTES: Seattle placed RB Adrian Peterson on the training team’s injury reserve on Wednesday. Peterson played a game for Seattle in Week 13 against San Francisco and suffered a rushed touchdown, but has since suffered a back injury. … CB DJ Reed and DT Bryan Mone have been activated off the reserve / COVID-19 list.
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