Seahawks leak interest in Bobby Wagner reunion
Plus Austin Blythe's retirement, Sean Desai's exit, and other Seahawks news, 3/1/2023
The Seattle Seahawks are letting Bobby Wagner know that he’s welcome back, if he wants to return, in more ways than one. The New Tribune’s Gregg Bell reported on Wednesday that his sources say the Seahawks are open to a reunion, and on Tuesday Pete Carroll and John Schneider both talked around the fact—to the legalest of their abilities—that they definitely aren’t ruling it out.
It wasn’t just what Pete said about Wagner specifically, but also in his answers about the Russell Wilson story that leaked last week about trying to get the organization to make a change in the regime if he was going to stay long-term.
In both his official press conference and in his appearance on PFT Live right after, Pete kept avoiding a direct answer about Russ and instead emphasized that he will never give up on players. That he will work hard to prove to them that he’s never going to stop being by their side and that they’re always going to be welcome to the organization. This could be interpreted as him saying that him and Russ will have many years together after their careers are over, basking in the glory of their Seahawks days at team events in Seattle.
It could also be a signal that Russ isn’t the only former Seahawk who can return after a bitter separation—and not necessarily after retirement. He could be setting up a welcome back party for Wagner, too.
Pete wasn’t necessarily glowing in his Cody Barton evaluation…
“Cody had a good finish to the season for us and nice job. But there’s some opportunities, and some options. So we’re wide open.”
And both he and Schneider made it clear that the Seahawks have some reorganizing to do in free agency.
The Rams have given Wagner permission to talk to other teams even though he’s still under contract until March 15. When free agency opens, it shouldn’t take more than a day or two for his next team to be official. He might not be the only former Seahawk who re-signs in short order…
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The full Pete Carroll quote
On Tuesday, I wrote about Pete’s interview with Mike Florio on PFT Live and promised you I would get the full quote that I was interested in. In case you didn’t go back and see the update, here it is again because I definitely want you to call me out if you think I’m wrong that this says the franchise tag is a non-starter for Seattle:
“Geno’s been us and we’ve been him and we should just do this together. We’ve still got to work out the business part of it and we’ve got a team that needs some help and we’ve got some areas in free agency that we’ve got to address and we’re looking forward to doing that. This is the game you play this time of year.”
The big thing there to me is: “We’ve got some areas in free agency that we’ve got to address and we’re looking forward to doing that.”
To me, Pete’s definitely saying that the Seahawks want to play in free agency to fix their issues—they need not only defensive help, but a new center, backfield additions, quarterback depth, maybe another receiver—and a franchise tag for Geno Smith makes that very difficult. He’s “looking forward to” free agency, which he can’t do if he’s going to pay Geno $32.4 million.
Pete’s been doing this for too long to be foolish enough to think that he can coach up mid-level talent and rookies into a top-five defense. It’s not that the Seahawks will go sign first wave free agents, because that’s out of character; but even Uchenna Nwosu cost a $6.3 million cap hit in 2022. Those types of deals will be impossible with a Geno tag.
I can’t see that happening.
I’m going to write some more now, on Austin Blythe, who I think could replace Blythe in free agency, Sean Desai’s future, and more. Since I had to post an urgent Joe this morning on Jalen Carter’s arrest warrents, I’ll be pushing this news dump into a bonus post, so please consider signing up for Seaside Joe to read the rest of this and so much more content! Like an Anthony Richardson evaluation! Or a mock draft! More, more, more!