Bobby Wagner, Seahawks Agree to 3-Year Contract Extension Worth Reported $54M

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 27, 2019

FILE - In this Sept. 30, 2018, file photo, Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner (54) gestures at the line of scrimmage during an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale, Ariz. Seattle (6-5) has won two straight and has a direct path to an NFC playoff berth in a season no one really expected them to be in the conversation at the beginning of December. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

The Seattle Seahawks have agreed to a three-year, $54 million extension with five-time Pro Bowl linebacker Bobby Wagner, according to Bleacher Report's Taylor Rooks. The deal includes $40.2 million guaranteed.

Jessamyn McIntyre @JessamynMcIntyr

Bobby Wagner represented himself and got a deal making him $18 million a year with $40.2 million guaranteed... With nobody else getting a cut. #Seahawks

The Seahawks confirmed Wagner signed a multiyear extension without providing the specific terms.

Seattle Seahawks @Seahawks

Locked up the best LB in the game!!!! 🐢🐢🐢 » https://t.co/hiTBB6Xma8 https://t.co/yMSqM9fZpL

"I'm really excited to have this done, excited that I get to be a Seahawk for a long, long time," Wagner said of the move. "Like I've always said, I want to play my entire career here, and I feel like today is a step toward that."

Russell Wilson provided his reaction to the announcement:

Russell Wilson @DangeRussWilson

Congrats to an amazing player and the best in the game to an even better man. Love you homie. You earned everything! @Bwagz 💰🙏🏾#GoHawks #ClassOf2012 #DontGetBoredWithConsistency https://t.co/LrdvBGPv8u

Although Wagner arrived ahead of training camp, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported he was going to be cautious in practice in the absence of a new contract.

Aaron J. Fentress @AaronJFentress

#Seahawks MLB Bobby Wagner, in only sweats yesterday, put on a helmet and jersey for day 2 of training camp but still didn’t participate in drills. Here he is showing off his kicks to @MikeDugar and playing catch with safety Bradley McDougald. #SeahawksTrainingCamp https://t.co/ROyMgWiqzI

Wagner is entering the final year of his original deal with the team and will count for a little more than $14 million against the salary cap.

C.J. Mosley signed a five-year, $85 million contract with the New York Jets in March that made him the highest-paid linebacker in terms of average salary. He didn't stay there long as Wagner ($18 million) moves to the top of the list, per Spotrac.

Spotrac @spotrac

At an $18M AAV, Bobby Wagner’s 3 yr, $54M extension (h/t @RapSheet ) w/ the #Seahawks makes him the 6th highest average paid defensive player in football. But it’s the $40.2M fully guaranteed (nearly 75%) that really stands out.

The Athletic's Michael-Shawn Dugar weighed in with what this likely means for the remainder of the Seahawks' offseason:

Dugar, Michael-Shawn @MikeDugar

After signing Russell Wilson to an extension, the next guys up were Bobby Wagner, Frank Clark and Jarran Reed. Clark is gone. Reed’s facing a suspension and now Wagner is the highest-paid LB in the league at $18M/yr. that’ll probably do it for big extensions this offseason.

Nearly $20 million a year is a lot to pay an inside linebacker, but Wagner is more than worth it to Seattle. He finished 2018 with 138 combined tackles, one sack, 11 passes defended and one interception.

Pro Football Focus ranked Wagner as the third-best player in the NFL heading into the 2019 season:

"Wagner finished the year ranked first in overall grade (91.9), coverage grade (90.4) and run-defense grade (91.8) among qualifying off-ball linebackers in 2018. Only two off-ball linebackers in the PFF era (2006-18) have earned 90.0-plus marks in all three facets: Wagner in 2018 and Kuechly in 2015. Wagner also missed just one tackle across 140 attempts this past season."

Securing Wagner's future now allows the team to avoid what could've become a difficult dynamic. Earl Thomas didn't participate in any offseason activities as he angled for a new contract or a trade, and he famously flipped off the Seahawks sideline after suffering a season-ending leg injury.

The Seahawks have their offensive and defensive cornerstones locked in for the foreseeable future. Wagner isn't a free agent until 2023, while Wilson's four-year, $140 million extension keeps him in Seattle until 2024.


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