A year ago, the Seahawks parted ways with a franchise icon, releasing linebacker Bobby Wagner after a decade that saw him build a Hall of Fame résumé in Seattle.
It turns out that was not the end of Wagner's time with the Seahawks, however, with the All-Pro linebacker signing with Seattle on Saturday following one season with the Los Angeles Rams.
Wagner, a second-round pick in what turned out to be a historic 2012 draft for the Seahawks, became the team's starting linebacker as a rookie, the beginning of one of the most accomplished careers in Seahawks history.
Over the course of 10 seasons, Wagner earned a team-record eight All-Pro selections, including six first-team selections, and was named to the Pro Bowl eight times. Wagner was also named to the NFL's All-Decade team for the 2010s. With Wagner in the middle of the defense, the Seahawks enjoyed a historic stretch of four straight seasons in which they allowed the fewest points in the league from 2012-2015, making them the only team to do so in the Super Bowl era. The Super Bowl winning 2013 Seahawks defense led the NFL in total defense, scoring defense and takeaways, then dominated the highest scoring offense in league history on the way to a 43-8 win in Super Bowl XLVIII, cementing that group as one of the best defenses in NFL history.
The model of consistency, Wagner has recorded at least 100 tackles in each of his 11 seasons, including 140 with the Rams last season on his way to second-team All-Pro honors, his ninth consecutive All-Pro season. Wagner, who set a Seahawks record with 167 tackles in 2016, a total both he and Jordyn Brooks have since surpassed, recorded a franchise-record 1,381 tackles over 10 seasons. Wagner has also been remarkably durable despite playing a physically demanding position, starting 15 or more games in nine of his 11 seasons, including 110 starts in 112 games from 2016 to 2021 before a late-season knee injury caused him to miss the final game of that season.
Last season with the Rams, Wagner started all 17 games, recording 140 tackles, two interceptions, 10 tackles for loss and a career-high 6.0 sacks. Two of those sacks, as well as an interception, came against the Seahawks in Seattle's Week 13 win in Los Angeles.
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"Bobby played great today," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said after the game. "… I'm really proud to tell you, he was a great player in our program for all those years. He'll always be one of our guys, but today, to rise up like that and to play like that is something he's going to remember. It was notable. What else is he going to do? Of course he's going to do something like that. So, hat's off to him."
After that same game, Tyler Lockett called Wagner "an amazing big brother to me, to a lot of people on this team that got the chance to play with him."
DK Metcalf said, "Knowing the early-morning workouts and all the times we got to spend with each other, and then just to go against him on the other side of the ball, he's one hell of a linebacker and a hell of a competitor, and it was just great to go against him. He had all my respect coming into this game, but after this game playing him, he has much more respect from me."
And now, after one year away, Wagner, that well-respected leader, big brother and linebacker is once again a Seahawk.
Check out photos of Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner from throughout his ten seasons in Seattle.