It’s not everyday a future Hall of Famer is outright released from a team, but that’s exactly what happened to Bobby Wagner. One week ahead of 2022 NFL free agency, the Seattle Seahawks cut arguably the best linebacker in the league in a move that garnered them $16.6 million toward their salary cap but — much like the decision to trade Russell Wilson — creates a gargantuan void on the roster sheet. But while the divorce itself bothers Wagner, because he has long made it clear he wanted to remain in Seattle, it’s how the release was handled that makes him feel disrespected.
According to the eight-time All-Pro linebacker, it wasn’t the team that notified him of his release and, if true, that can easily be viewed as a slap in the face to a player who spent 10 years with an organization — often atop the totem at his position.
“Crazy part about all this: I played there for 10 years and I didn’t even hear it from them that I wasn’t coming back,” Wagner said Friday, via Twitter.
News of how the Seahawks handled a player of Wagner’s caliber and loyalty isn’t sitting well with other NFL stars, several of them taking to Twitter to respond to the accusation.
“This sh*t don’t love nobody,” said Kearse in reply to Parsons. “Better know that.”
The most scathing criticism came by way of All-Pro and recent Super Bowl champion cornerback Jalen Ramsey, however, who also took aim at NFL fans who routinely take the side of organizations against players.
“I don’t know how a ‘fan’ can say, “This is just business and don’t take it personal,'” said Ramsey. “But when a player does what’s best for him (request a trade or hold out — for example), they don’t have that same energy.”
Wagner will likely receive no apology from the Seahawks for how they opted to part ways, particularly after the team long remained noncommittal on his future with the club. And, with that, he’ll now look to turn the page on a stellar career that will likely see a bidding war sparked for his services, with the— hoping to reunite him with defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. If successful, it would pair him with Parsons and potentially Kearse as well on the Cowboys defensive unit, and Quinn will officially be off to the races in his attempt to design the Legion of Boom 2.0.
But Wagner will never forget what the Seahawks did, or rather didn’t do, in 2022.