Seattle Seahawks: Bobby Wagner contract extension talks continue

There haven’t been a lot of reports coming out of the Seattle Seahawks and Bobby Wagner contract extension talks.

The Seattle Seahawks have quietly been negotiating an extension with All-Pro middle linebacker Bobby Wagner. Unlike in the case with Russell Wilson, there has been little chatter around the league regarding the Wagner talks. Talks have remained open between the two sides with Wagner appearing at practices but not practicing to avoid injury. Reports are that a deal might get done before the regular season begins.

According to CBS Sports’ Joel Corry, Wagner wants a deal that will top the one the New York Jets gave C.J. Mosley in free agency. Mosley’s deal with New York is for five years and $85 million. That’s a total of $17 million per season.

Wagner is justified in asking for significantly more than what Mosley got. I don’t think there’s a serious analyst or fan out there who would say Mosley is on the same level as Wagner. While Mosley has been to four Pro Bowls and been a Second Team All-Pro four times, Wagner has danced around the Defensive Player of the Year award several times.

As Corry notes, he is just one of two defensive players to be named a First Team All-Pro in each of the last three seasons. The other player is two-time reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Aaron Donald.

Currently, Mosley’s contract makes him the 10th highest paid defender in the NFL and the highest paid middle/inside linebacker. Wagner is entering the final season of a four-year deal that has him making just $10.75 million per year. That’s tied for the 60th largest contract for a defender, based on average annual payouts. The jump for Wagner from his old contract to the new one will be massive and it will do his skill justice.

I recognize that the Seahawks have to worry about injuries and aging to protect the team’s financial future, but Wagner’s track record is one of true greatness.

In the last five seasons, Wagner has been to five Pro Bowls and been selected as a First Team All-Pro four times. The one time he wasn’t a First Team All-Pro, 2015, he made the Second Team. In his entire seven-year career, Wagner has averaged 130 tackles, two sacks, almost six passes defensed (5.85) and one interception per season.

I fully expect Wagner to remain in Seattle for the long haul. Say what you will about his age or injury history, the Seahawks have had major players walk away in the past and they have almost never benefitted from it. Besides, Wagner isn’t coming off of a down year or major injury. He’s a reigning All-Pro.

If the Seahawks are serious about getting better and making noise in the playoffs this year and moving forward, then they need to make Wagner the highest paid middle linebacker in the league.