It is the end of an era in Seattle. On the same day the Seahawks pulled the trigger on a trade that sent quarterback Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos, the team informed All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner that it is releasing him. This move saves Seattle $16.6 million against the salary cap while also allowing Wagner to immediately sign with a new team before free agency begins next week.
Wagner has spent his entire NFL career with the Seahawks until this point. The former Utah State product was drafted by the team in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft — the same draft in which the team drafted Wilson in the third round.
“This is an extremely difficult day for the organization,” general manager John Schneider said in a statement. “Bobby has been at the center of our defense for the past 10 seasons and always represented our organization with class. He is a special player and person, and we are forever grateful. Bobby will always be a Hawk.”
“Bobby is one of the great Seahawks of all-time,” added Seahawks coach Pete Carroll. “His leadership in the community, locker room, and on the field is a tribute to his character and consistency. Bobby set an incredible example for all to follow, and we will continue to follow him all the way to the Hall of Fame.”
Out of the gate, Wagner proved to be an impact player for the franchise, as he started in 15 of his 16 games as a rookie and totaled 140 tackles to go along with two sacks. The following year, he helped lead a dominant Seattle defense — famously known as the Legion of Boom — to its first-ever (and only) Super Bowl title with a dominating 43-8 win over the Denver Broncos. In that game, Wagner totaled 10 tackles.
Along with hoisting a Lombardi Trophy while donning a Seahawks helmet, Wagner was named a first-team All-Pro six times and reached the Pro Bowl in eight of his 10 seasons with the team. He was also named to the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team and is widely considered one of the greatest players in the franchise’s history.
This past season, Wagner played in 16 games and totaled a career-high 170 tackles to go along with five pass breakups, a forced fumble, and a sack.
With this release and the Wilson trade, Seattle has moved on from its two longest-tenured players on the same day.