The Seattle Seahawks have a few disgruntled players, that’s a given, While that can hurt a team, a bigger loss would be not having those players under contract. As long as everyone’s on the roster rearing and ready to go for Week 1, no one is going to look back at what happened at the start of August. That’s what training camp is for, it sets the tone for the entire team, that’s where chemistry is built or hardened.
Just a few days ago, Wagner’s ominous tweet made news when Seattle came to an agreement with Russell Wilson on a contract extension. Now, it’s Wagner’s turn. He is currently the highest paid middle linebacker in the league, he received a four-year deal worth $43 million dollars. Wagner is set to make $22 million guaranteed at $10.75 million per year in salary, with the cap going up and the way the Hawks defense is constructed, they couldn’t afford to let him go.
#Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner’s four-year extension is worth $43M, source said. The game’s highest paid LB.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 2, 2015
The former 2012 second round pick has become a key piece for one of the best defensive units in football, he’s quickly made his ascension through the ranks at his position. He’s coming off a season in which he only played 11 games, but his absence was evident by how vulnerable the defense looked while he was out. Upon him returning, Seattle hit their stride again and their defense powered them to their second consecutive Super Bowl appearance, but they fell to the New England Patriots. Wagner has tallied at least 100 tackles in each of his three years in the league while hauling in five interceptions. In just a short time, Wagner’s proved that he’s just as invaluable a piece as the more heralded Legion of Boom.
Several position markets have been set, or at least waiting to be set. Wagner is the first of the younger middle linebackers to receive his extension. Up next will be Carolina’s former defensive player of the year in Luke Kuechly. Luke is considered the top at his position, so all eyes will be focused on Carolina as the time comes for him to receive his extension. Like Seattle, the Panthers extended their franchise signal caller and now are focused on their star inside backer.
When thinking of the type of money Kuechly would receive, his agents will certainly be looking at the contract of one Bobby Wagner. Luke hasn’t had a season with less than 150 tackles yet in his young career, he’s also picked off seven passes in that stretch. Being a former defensive player of the year won’t hurt his case either. Carolina no longer has the contract of Greg Hardy, they’ve already locked in Cam Newton (for less than Russell Wilson), so it wouldn’t be wrong for us to expect an amount in the neighborhood of Justin Houston or JJ Watt when the time comes.
The time to argue for who is the better player isn’t now, simply stating that the market has been reset for the top tier of middle linebackers with the Wagner signing. No matter who comes out on top in the finance department, both Wagner and Kuechly are well deserving of their level of compensation as two of the best players at their position.