Could Seahawks have kept Bobby Wagner and still been this good?
Which players would Seattle not have in order to keep Wagner?
The question of whether or not the Seattle Seahawks would have kept linebacker Bobby Wagner for the entirety of his career if there was no salary cap is a no-brainer: Indubitably, my dude. I don’t think the Seahawks would have minded paying his $16.6 million salary under MLB rules, where teams can spend at free will as far as I remember, but Seattle is already pushing against the 2022 cap even without a single player on the roster who has a cap hit over $10.1 million.
Wagner’s 2022 salary cap number before he was released was set to be more than double that amount.
The Seahawks were criticized for not communicating to Wagner that he was being released prior to him finding out through other channels, but that moment also allowed us to see how badly Pete Carroll didn’t want to do it.
"I kept encouraging John [Schneider] to see what all of the possible options could be for a way out, that we don’t have to do this. Each day was crucial as we were drawing closer to it," Carroll explained. "It seemed like when Russ’ [Wilson] news went out, then everything hit the fan. We were supposed to meet with Bobby a couple of days after that and the timing just didn’t work out right. I regret that we didn’t do a better job timing-wise."
It’s easy for fans to watch from afar and believe that roster and salary cap management is as straightforward for NFL front offices as it is for those of us who type the words “overthecap.com” or “spotrac” into address bars every day. That Pete and John also bring up a website, choose the “release” option, and watch their 2022 salary cap number change by $16.6 million.
But for Carroll to go from desperately wanting to keep Wagner to having to release him anyway after encouraging John Schneider to go back to the books and try again, that must have been difficult. Because while WE all thought that Seattle was okay with a bad season once they traded Russell Wilson, PETE wasn’t about to comprehend that possibility.
Pete Carroll only cut Bobby Wagner because he thought it would make the 2022 Seattle Seahawks a better football team. Not because they were losing Wagner but because they now had $16.6 million to not lose other players on the roster.
Was he right though? That’s what I’ll look at in this morning Seaside’s bonus: The money that the Seahawks added to the 2022 salary cap after releasing Wagner and whether or not Pete and John made the right decision by choosing some of those contracts over Wagner. “Are the Seahawks better, worse, or the same because of their decision to release Bobby Wagner?” By the end of my research, I feel there is no doubt as to the correct answer to that question.
Will you agree?