Bobby Wagner

Russell Wilson, Bobby Wagner named to 2019 Pro Bowl

Russell Wilson, Bobby Wagner named to 2019 Pro Bowl

One offense, one defense. It has been the foundation of the Seattle Seahawks franchise since 2012. Linebacker Bobby Wagner and quarterback Russell Wilson have been named to the 2019 NFL Pro Bowl.

Here’s why:

RUSSELL WILSON

Having an MVP-like year, it seems like the 31-year-old just keeps getting better and better. Wilson is a Pro Bowler for the seventh time in his eight-year career. 

Here’s his line for the year: 67.4 completion %, 3,708 yards, 28 touchdowns, 5 interceptions, 109.3 rating; 311 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns.

[RELATED]: A comprehensive list of Russell Wilson’s incredible records and milestones this season

Wilson joins other NFL quarterbacks: Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson.

BOBBY WAGNER

Named to his sixth straight Pro Bowl in his eight-year career in Seattle. Wagner leads the team and ranks second in the NFL with 139 tackles, the sixth-most in franchise history in a single-season. The 29-year-old this season became the franchise's all-time leading tackler and posted his eighth-consecutive 100-tackle season, extending his own franchise record. 

[RELATED]: Bobby Wagner says ankle is ‘fine’, Seahawks avoid major crisis

Wagner joins other inside linebacker Luke Kuechly in the NFC and Darius Leonard and Dont'a Hightower in the AFC.

The Seahawks currently hold the top seed in the NFC West with an 11-3 record and have clinched a playoff berth with a win last Sunday over Carolina. 

But just two Seahawks players named to the Pro Bowl? Seems a bit odd.

More to come from our Seahawks Insider Joe Fann.

Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner among nominees for Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award

Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner among nominees for Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award

He’s an eight-year NFL veteran, Super Bowl champion, five-time Pro Bowler and four-time NFL First-Team All-Pro.

And now, Bobby Wagner is being recognized for his excellence off-the-field as the Seattle Seahawks nominee for the prestigious Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award.

The award recognizes NFL players across the country who strive to make their communities better and continue to raise the bar on community engagement. Wagner checks both boxes.

The Seahawks linebacker has given back to the Seattle community in a number of ways. He’s partnered with the Low Income Housing Institute’s “tiny house” project to help provide homes for those in need. He’s hosted the “Walk with Wagner” events at the VMAC, in honor of Stroke Awareness month. 

Recently, while packing Thanksgiving meals for Seattle’s tiny home community, he treated Safeway customers to a surprise shopping spree.

“When I do it, it’s genuine,” Wagner said of his gesture. “It’s from the heart. I don’t really care if people see that I do it or notice that I do it or even recognize that it’s me doing it. I just do it because I feel like there’s a lot of people out there that need a hand, and I try to lend a hand.”

Each Man of the Year nominee receives a donation up to $50,000 to spend on their charity of choice. Wagner has selected the HBCU Foundation, a foundation that provides scholarships to students attending historically black college and universities.

The 2019 Walter Payton Man of the Year will be announced on Feb. 1 during a two-hour primetime awards special airing the night before the Super Bowl.

Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list

Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list

Nearly six months after Bobby Wagner negotiated a three-year, $54 million contract extension to make him the highest paid at his position, the Seattle Seahawks linebacker is making waves again.

Wagner was recently named to Forbes’ prestigious 30 Under 30 Sports list, which features athletes, inventive entrepreneurs and professionals in the field of media, law and development.

His accomplishments on the football field are impressive, but it’s Wagner's off-the-field accolades that caught the eye of Forbes.

“We should take the time to learn and understand how to make the money work for us, versus working for the money,” Wagner told Forbes.

Wagner made a five-figure investment in startup Denali Therapeutics in 2014 that has since gone public with shares close to $18. The 29-year-old also recently joined Andressen Horowitz’s $500,000 minimum investment cultural fund, which features companies like Hipcamp and Lime scooters, and included investors such as Diddy and Shondra Rhimes. 

This isn’t the first time Wagner has been recognized for his entrepreneurial pursuits. In 2017, he was part of a group of current and former NFL players who invested in 12-year-old Mikaela Ulmer’s lemonade business “Me & the Bees.”

Wagner has stressed the importance of athletes not only learning business, but understanding it. He has also talked about his desire to pursue something in the business field post-football.

“I love business and I love to get into different investments and things of that nature,” Wagner said last summer. “I envision myself negotiating deals down the line and, so, I told myself (if) I wasn’t willing to risk challenging myself with my own money and my own cash then I’ll never take that risk down the line. That’s why I was focused on it.”

At 29, Wagner has seemingly done it all on the football field. He’s been to five Pro Bowls, earned four first-team All-Pro nods and helped lead Seattle to its first ever Super Bowl.

But with the Seahawks at 10-2 and on top of the NFC West, he could soon add another Super Bowl title to his collection.

“We still have room to improve on, which is the scary thing because we can still get better.”

Bobby Wagner explains value in trading jerseys with fellow NFL superstars

Bobby Wagner explains value in trading jerseys with fellow NFL superstars

Bobby Wagner recalls Richard Sherman being one of the first to trade jerseys with another player. Now the tradition has become a mainstay following each NFL game. 

Wagner has a vast collection of threads that began with acquiring the jerseys of all his teammates – Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, K.J. Wright, Michael Bennett and others. He then began trading with other stars around the league like Von Miller and Derrick Johnson or players he had a personal connection to like Saints safety and longtime family friend Marcus Williams. Wagner grew up with Williams’ older brother and Williams was good friends with Wagner’s younger brother.

“I think it’s a way to kind of show respect about the people that you’re going against and your friends that you play against – trying to have something to remember this league that doesn’t last for long,” Wagner told NBC Sports Northwest on the recent episode of the "Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast.

Wagner has now gotten to the stature to where young players in the NFL will approach him postgame and ask for his jersey. Last year it was Dallas Cowboys linebackers Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch. 

“That’s pretty dope to have that type of respect in the league,” Wagner said. “It’s a cool feeling.”

He’s pulled the same move. In 2018, when everyone expected it to be Larry Fitzgerald’s last season, Wagner sought out Fitz following one of their matchups to gift the receiver his jersey. He said that Fitz has long been one of his favorite players to go against. 

Fitzgerald, being the exceptional human that he is, made sure to express his gratitude. 

“At some point during the offseason, I got a FedEx, and he sent me a jersey in return,” Wagner said. “That just speaks to the type of person he is. Obviously I’ve got a lot of respect for him.”

He added that Aaron Donald is next on his list.

So what will Wagner do with all of the jerseys? He said he’s already hung up a few in his house, but he’s workshopping a few ideas for how to organize the rest.

“It’s going to be something unique,” Wagner assured. “Something dope.”

Wagner obviously isn’t the only player around the league with a treasure trove of game-worn jerseys, but it is further insight into his enlightened mindset and approach to football. 

A few months back we saw the linebacker serve as his own agent, flex his business acumen and negotiate the richest contract for a middle linebacker in league history. His collection of jerseys shows how deliberate his is when it comes to making the most of his time in the NFL.

“Sometimes it’s important to slow down and appreciate all you’ve accomplished so far knowing that you still want more,” Wagner said. “As the game slows down, life slows down as well, and you’re able to appreciate a lot of things.”

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Talkin' Seahawks Podcast: Joe Fann 1-on-1 with Bobby Wagner

Talkin' Seahawks Podcast: Joe Fann 1-on-1 with Bobby Wagner

Seahawks Insider Joe Fann breaks down Seattle's win in Atlanta, diving into the worries that could come from a weak second half against the Falcons.

Also, Joe sits down with Bobby Wagner, linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks, and the two talk about the importance of trading jerseys in the NFL and what celebrity Wagner has given his jersey to.

Plus, with the Seahawks halfway through the season, Joe gives out grades for the Seahawks performance so far, and looks to what this could mean for the future of the team.

Social media reacts as Bobby Wagner becomes NFL's highest paid inside linebacker

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USAT

Social media reacts as Bobby Wagner becomes NFL's highest paid inside linebacker

Bobby Wagner is one step closer to spending his entire career in Seattle. 

The Seahawks linebacker inked a multi-year contract extension following Friday's training camp to become the highest-paid inside linebacker in the NFL. According to reports, Wagner's deal is three years, $54 million with $40.2 fully guaranteed. 

Here's a look at how fans, media and players reacted to Wagner's big payday. 

Seattle Seahawks, Bobby Wagner agree to deal on contract extension

Seattle Seahawks, Bobby Wagner agree to deal on contract extension

Bobby Wagner finally has the new deal he's sought all offseason.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Wagner and the Seattle Seahawks have agreed to a three-year, $54 million contract extension. The team confirmed Wagner’s deal on Friday. 

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

Seahawks general manager John Schenider expressed excitement in keeping Wagner as a critical part of Seattle's defense for years to come.

“We feel blessed that we were able to draft Bobby in 2012, keep him here on a second contract, and now to have him sign a third contract is a huge deal for us,” Schneider said. "He exemplifies everything that we’re all about, his professionalism, intensity, the way he handles himself off the field.

"There’s no doubt in my mind that he’ll go down not only as one of the greatest Seahawks, but also as one of the greatest middle linebackers in NFL history." 

Wagner, who represented himself in negotiations without an agent, made it clear he needed a new deal before he'd practice in training camp. He's now the owner of the richest contract for an inside linebacker in NFL history. His $18 million per year tops what the New York Jets gave C.J. Mosley this offseason ($17 million annually).

Wagner’s big payday has been a top priority for the Seahawks this offseason. The 28-year-old is coming off his fourth, first team All-Pro season after piling up 138 tackles, one sack, 11 passes defended, one interception, two forced fumbles and a touchdown in 15 starts in 2018.

According to Pro Football Focus, Wagner had 116 consecutive attempted tackles without a miss last season, the second-longest streak in the NFL since 2006.

Bobby Wagner and Seattle Seahawks still doing the contract dance

Bobby Wagner and Seattle Seahawks still doing the contract dance

The Seattle Seahawks began their three-day mandatory minicamp today and one person not adhering to the "mandatory" part is middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, who again was on hand but not in full participation. 

Wagner, who has one year remaining on his contract, is putting forth a mini holdout until a new deal has been consummated. "Mini" because unlike former safety Earl Thomas last year, Wagner is at least on hand for workouts but not actually taking part in them, as he did during the voluntary organized team activities held the previous two weeks. 

The five-time Pro Bowler is acting as his own agent and has made it clear that he wants his new deal to eclipse the contract the New York Jets gave to D.J. Mosely when they lured him away from Baltimore with a five-year, $85 million deal that included $35 million in guaranteed cash (originally reported to be $51 million). So far, Seattle coach Pete Carroll says the negotiations with Wagner have gone well. 

"He’s handled it beautifully," Carroll told reporters today. "You know, Bobby’s an incredible player in this program and everything that he does, just his presence is obvious. He’s been around for everything. He’s been involved with everything and he’s handled it exactly the way he should under these circumstances."

Doing things the right way matters. Outside linebacker K.J. Wright said he believes that Seattle gave him a two-year extension following last year's injury-plagued season in part because he didn't hold out and participated like a player under contract should. Thomas, on the other hand, conducted a lengthy and contentious hold out in an ordeal that concluded with him breaking his leg at Arizona and then directing a middle figure gesture toward Carroll as he was carted off the field. 

Seattle did not even entertain the idea of resigning Thomas, who landed with Baltimore.

But while everything between Wagner and Seattle appears to be peaches and cream at the moment, let's not forget that we're talking about minicamp here. Not training camp. Wagner, a seven-year veteran, is not in need of minicamp. But Seattle will certainly want him in pads and fully participating when training camp starts in late July. 

By then, Wagner will either have a deal in place or Seattle could have a full-blown stalemate on its hands with the second best player on the team and most important player on defense. 

Seahawks' LB K.J. Wright is healthy, happy and grateful to still be in Seattle

Seahawks' LB K.J. Wright is healthy, happy and grateful to still be in Seattle

RENTON, Wash. - Plenty of times last season K.J. Wright didn't believe he would remain with the Seahawks beyond 2018. He had plenty of reasons to doubt his future. 

A knee injury led to surgery that limited him to five games and 23 tackles. Also, he had one year remaining on his contract and had reached age 29 with eight body-crushing seasons under his belt. 

"All those signs say, 'thank you for your services, but we have to move on,'" Wright said today following a voluntary offseason training activity at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center.

Yet, here Wright remains in a Seahawks uniform for a ninth season, longer than any other man on the team, a fact that prompted a reporter to refer to him as the "old guy" of the team.

"Aw," Wright responded with a laugh as he took two steps away from the microphone. "Now I'm going to walk off."

He didn't. He remained and said that having put in more time with the Seahawks than anyone else remaining is "fun" for him. 

"Someone told me yesterday – longest tenured Seahawk – which is a blessing and an honor just to be in one program your whole career and it’s fun being in this position," he said. "It’s more of a mentoring role in this phase and when training camp comes, I’ll be out there hustling and bustling with the guys.”

Wright is one of three remaining starters from the Super Bowl teams of 2013 and 2014. He, middle linebacker Bobby Wagner and quarterback Russell Wilson are all that remains from the list of key players from those teams. Wilson, of course, wasn't going anywhere this offseason with one year remaining and coming off of one of his best seasons. Seattle singed him to a four-year, $140 million extension. Wager has one year remaining on his deal and is also coming off of one of his best-ever seasons. He is in the middle of negotiations with the Seahawks. Then there was Wright, coming off of his worst season as a professional, appearing in fewer than 12 games for the first time in his career. 

Wright might have not been brought back if not for his play late in the season. He had seven tackles and a pass defended on the final weekend of the regular season during a win at home over Arizona. In the Wild Card playoff loss at Dallas, Wright made eight tackles (seven solo) and intercepted a pass in the end zone. 

"I think it played a lot into it, " Wright said. 

He also credited the fans, media and people in the Seahawks' building who clamored for his return. 

"I thank everybody for making that happen," he said. 

Wright received a two-year, $15 million contract with $8 million in guaranteed money to be paid out in 2019. The remaining $7 million is not promised to him, which means Seattle could easily let him go after this season should he not perform well or once again become beset by injuries. 

But such unpleasant details are best left for the future. Right now, Wright is gearing up for a season in which he hopes to return to his former self. 

"What I went through last year really put things in perspective for me," Wright said. "Just approach every game, every practice with gratitude and thankfulness because you just never know when something may happen and it could be your last play. So I’m just real thankful and I’m just going to go into this season and just have fun and enjoy it and not sweat the small stuff.”

Maybe nobody on the team is happier about Wright's return than Wagner.

"Since I got here, he’s been one of the guys that has helped me grow into the player that I became and when we first get into the league, you think about getting to that second deal, a lot of guys don’t make it to the third," Wagner said. "So to see him make it to his third deal and see what he’s able to do for his family and the financial freedom that he’s going to have moving forward, life out of football, is amazing."

Wright has a very productive life away football. He's been very active in charities, including an effort to build wells in Kenya, a country in East Africa. Wright said he and about 20 family and friends will travel there next month. He has helped to raise about $70,000 that he said should provide two water wells at a school he visited last year. 

When he returns, training camp will be just around the corner. Seattle coach Pete Carroll has expressed excitement at having a healthy Wright alongside Wagner and veteran Mychal Kendricks. It's a group the coach has called potentially the best Seattle has had since Carroll became head coach in 2010. 

But long gone are many prominent names from the glory years, including safety Earl Thomas, not resigned, and safety Kam Chancellor and wide receiver Doug Baldwin, released earlier this month. 

"It is weird," Wright said. "And when Kam and Cliff (Avril) went down and (Richard Sherman) got traded, that's when you just saw the team shifting," he said. "But it is what it is. It happens."

Not to Wright. At least, not yet. 

"I'm glad they love me," Wright said. "They know what I bring to the table...I know that I'm a good football player but you just have to keep doing it because it's a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately-type business. nobody cares about what you did in the past."

Wright said he is feeling 100 percent healthy right now and plays to be smart during OTAs. Keep his legs fresh. Not put too much on his body until it matters. 

Seattle has added some depth at linebacker to help prepare for the future. When asked if that depth could lead to him taking some plays off in order to help remain healthy, Wright wasn't hearing it. 

"Nah, nah," he said. "I don't like coming off the field."

Seattle hopes he won't need to for at least another 32 games. 

Bobby Wagner contract watch has officially begun

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USA Today

Bobby Wagner contract watch has officially begun

RENTON, Wash. - Is a standoff brewing?

Seattle middle linebacker Bobby Wagner reported to voluntary organized team activities this week but didn't participate in on-field drills with the rest of the team. The reason was simple. He doesn't have a new contract in place and has one year remaining on his current deal. No pay, no play. 

"I will be here," Wagner said on Tuesday following the second of three practice sessions scheduled for this week. "That’s my participation. I will be here helping the young guys, doing whatever I can. But yeah, I’ll be here."

That's more than could be said for former Seattle safety Earl Thomas last offseason when he was nowhere to be found while holding out in the final year of his deal with no security. Thomas ultimately received the cash he sought from Baltimore this offseason so it all worked out for him in the end. But the standoff with Seattle at times became uncomfortable. Could the same situation go down between Wagner and the Seahawks? It's possible given that the team just doled out $140 million to quarterback Russell Wilson, traded away defensive end Frank Clark because he became too expensive and Wagner is representing himself while looking to break the bank with a new contract.

What could possibly go wrong? 

But it's more than likely that both sides in this case will reach an agreement before negotiations turn sour.

All signs last season pointed toward Seattle being set on moving on from Thomas, which clearly angered him. Indicators exist now that Seattle has every intention of retaining Wagner, who will turn 29 in June. He is the clear leader of the defense with no successor in place. Plus, he is coming off of a fifth Pro Bowl season with no signs of slowing down. 

Wagner, who is acting as his own agent, said discussions have taken place. He stated that he does not plan to participate in on-field activities until a new deal is in place, at least through organized team activities. He gave no indication as to whether or not that stance would continue into fall camp, which will start in late July. 

"Obviously, I would like something to get done before the season," Wagner said. "We've had some communications so we know we have a plan and you've just got ot figure the plan out. I'm just being patient. I'm letting things happen..I'm not trying to turn this into some big drama thing."

Then he added: "It's a business. If it works out it does. If it doesn't, it's been cool."

That's not what anyone who wants Wagner in Seattle should want to hear. It wouldn't be "cool" at all if this doesn't work out because that would mean yet another member of Seattle's most recent Super Bowl teams would be out the door. 

Wagner said any criticism of him for acting as his own agent is unwarranted. He pointed out that his last deal, which involved an agent, wasn't hammered out until August of 2015. That contract was for $43 million over four years. Wagner has taken the reigns this time because he said it's something he's always wanted to do and feels that nobody could serve him better than himself. 

"At the end of the day me representing myself shouldn't be a big deal," he said. "They should look at it as any other deal."

However, one aspect of having representation is that the agent listens to any slights put forth by Seattle general manager John Schneider or coach Pete Carroll during negotiations rather than Wagner hearing the gory details about any misgivings they might have about him when it comes to writing check a big, fat check. In the end, it's all petty, but it's part of the process. 

"There's a lot of people worried about them saying things and me being able to take criticism," Wagner said. "That's part of the game. You've got to be able to take criticism and at the end of the day you want the person to say something straight to your face about how they feel versus to somebody else. I don't need a third party."

A fair player comparison to Wagner would be former Baltimore inside linebacker C.J. Mosley, who this offseason received a five-year, $85 million deal from the New York Jets with $51 million in guarantees. Mosley, 26, has been to four Pro Bowls. Last year he had 105 tackles but has had a career-high of 151. Wagner recorded 138 tackles last season and has a career-high of 168. 

Wagner likely wouldn't receive as much guaranteed money given the age difference but he should expect to receive in the neighborhood of the $17 million per season the Jets will pay Mosley. Wagner will make $10.5 million in base salary this season.

"The number's a number," Wagner said when asked if he expected a deal similar to Mosley's. "The market is the market. That's the top linebacker market. That's the standard. And that is the plan, to break that."

Break that? Oh, my!

That type of talk could lead to the back-and-forth between Wagner and the team to become dicey. Could you picture Wagner telling Schneider and Carroll that he is just as good if not better than Mosley while they tell him that he isn't as good as the Jets' linebacker and thus doesn't deserve equal compensation? That could become contentious in a hurry.

Carroll was asked about Wagner attending voluntary workout and he responded as expected, pointing out his middle linebacker's leadership skills and how much he has meant to the team over the years. 

When asked about a new contract for Wagner, Carroll appeared to be optimistic. 

"If you watched this as you have all throughout the off season, there’s been a process of step by step and we’re right in stride with the process," Carroll said. "Bobby’s been great. Everything’s going to come together in time. Everything’s in order and we’re in order of what we want to do and it feels very comfortable and very amicable and all of that. So everything’s going just right."

Wagner doesn't need offseason on-field workouts to play well in the fall at this stage in his career. He vowed that he is working out everyday and that he will remain in shape and ready to go when the time comes. In the meantime, he will focus on being a leader to the defense.

"You want to send the right message," he said. "You want to be here to support the guys. I do feel like the quarterback of defense is pretty important so not having that piece would kind of put a damper on the defense. I just feel like it’s important for our success and so I’m here."

Just not all the way there, yet. That's being worked out by his agent. Speaking of...could Wagner's venture into representing himself lead to a post-football career as a football agent?

"No," he said. "It's just the Bobby Wagner Agency and representing Bobby."

Seahawks fans should hope that this new agency is successful in keeping Bobby in Seattle.