Thoughts on the Bobby Wagner Contract Extension and Other Seahawk Matters


Seattle is building their defense around Bobby Wagner and it is a no-brainer decision. (Getty Images)

On Friday, July 26th, 2019, the Seattle Seahawks reached a deal with Bobby Wagner on a three year 54 million dollar contract extension that will make him the highest paid linebacker on the Planet. This was a no-brainer because Bobby Wagner is the Best Linebacker on the Planet. He is as fast, strong, and instinctive of a tackling machine as you can get at linebacker, and he is also a nightmare for quarterbacks in coverage. This is the guy Seattle will build their defense around, and is the main reason why I believe Seattle’s defense will be better than a lot of people think in 2019.

Will they be 2013 good? Probably not likely this year, but they might be 2011 good, and that was a squad that found itself when the rest of the world was doubting them. Poona Ford, Rasheem Green, Jacob Martin, and Tre Flowers are all going into their second season, and have all have starter to quality starter potential. Seattle is also adding quality veteran pro bowl pass rusher Ezekiel Ansah, veteran run stopping defensive tackles Al Woods and Earl Mitchell, veteran pass rusher Cassius Marsh, and they have brought back veteran pro bowl linebackers KJ Wright and Mychal Kendricks. They will also be adding the pro bowl level talents of defensive tackle Jarran Reed after he serves his six game suspension.

Take a deep breath and relax about Frank Clark not being here and Reed missing the first six games. This defense has the Best Linebacker on the Planet surrounded by just enough quality veteran talent in the front seven along with the rising talents of those second year players mentioned.

Seattle is building their defense around Bobby Wagner because he has been their best player for a few seasons now, and he has only gotten better each year. He is at the height of his craft, and he has so much to bestow on the younger players around him, especially now that he is out of the shadows of those who were the Legion of Boom, not to take anything away from those players. You can tell that he wants this, too. He wants to lead, and he has earned every right to do just that. He has done everything right.

When Seattle lost that painful Super Bowl match against the Patriots, he didn’t hold onto the bitterness of it, and allowed it to fester on the sidelines in weird volatile ways in following seasons like Richard Sherman did. When he entered his final contract year, he didn’t draw an overly dramatic line in the sand between himself and his team like Earl Thomas did last year. He has never outwardly shown distain to the goody two shoes quarterback on the other side of the ball like a lot of other defenders did back during the day way back when. While the LOB was gracing the covers of Sports Illustrated like a rock band, Bobby Wagner was just going about his business, getting better, and better, and better each year.

This is officially the Bobby Wagner era in Seattle in terms of the defense. It’s Russell Wilson on the offense, and it might well now be regarded as Russell Wilson’s team, but let’s be clear about this; this is now Bobby Wagner’s defense. Period.

And I am really happy for him. They are one Jarran Reed contract extension away from probably having a really strong new nucleus here in Seattle for years to come. Get ready for it.

Thoughts on Other Seahawk Training Camp Matters. 

It was superb news on Thursday that newly signed defensive end Ezekiel Ansah and second year tight end Will Dissly were both cleared to practice coming off of their 2018 injuries. It was widely thought of heading into training camp that both players would start out on the Physically Unable to Perform list, and possible miss the first game or two of the regular season. Seattle will ease both of these guys through training camp, but I would have to think both will be playing in the season opener against the Bengals. This is huge because, when healthy, Ansah is one of the best pass rushers in the league, and when healthy, Dissly has definite starter potential at tight end, and it would be wonderful if he could provide Seattle the long term answer to that position spot.

Last year, Dissly was my favorite player heading out of camp, and I think the team is pretty high on his overall potential. I curiously noticed when I was poking around inside the team shop that they are selling Dissly jerseys. I’m going to take that as a positive sign on what his future may hold with the team, and how the team views him. Personally, I get a very Jason Witten vibe from the dude. I think he has that kind of potential.

Speaking of potential, it’s cool to see Poona Ford starting at defensive tackle along with Jarran Reed. Pro Football Focus loved Poona’s rookie campaign, and I’ve been developing a big time crush on this guy myself. Here is a short video that Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times posted on Twitter with Reed and Poona going through contact bag drills. Poona is in the lower portion of the screen. Look how low he gets, pushes up, then, with his ridiculously long arms, he violently disengages, and speeds through. He is going to give offensive linemen fits in 2019. Trust me on this.

For the last two days, rookie wide receiver DK Metcalf has been getting a ton of hype, and people rightly should be excited about his potential, but I can’t wait for Sunday when the defenders can finally make contract with receivers, and training camp feels like real football. We will finally see how Metcalf works against contested coverage, but we will also finally get a better sense of rookie defensive linemen LJ Collier, and rookie linebacker Cody Barton.

There are spots to be had on this defense. Will Barton possibly look like the heir apparent to KJ Wright? With Jarran Reed suspended for the first six games, will Collier look like someone ready to come in on third downs as a viable pass rushing defensive tackle? Is Rasheem Green ready to steal one of the starting defensive end spots?

This is what makes training camp so exciting. I know KJ Wright is a really fine football player, and Cassius Marsh is a serviceable pass rusher. I know Bradley McDougald is a solid safety. I want to see youth emerge on this defense. Can not wait for that.

Go Hawks.



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