Russell Wilson, Bobby Wagner leave the Seahawks with a triumphant legacy – NFL Nation

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SEATTLE – Days are not getting any tougher for NFL teams than the Seattle Seahawks experienced Tuesday. It began with a message from ESPN’s Adam Schefter that they had agreed to swap quarterback Russell Wilson for the Denver Broncos. And while Seattle was still dealing with the bomb, Schefter reported that the team had informed linebacker Bobby Wagner of his impending release.

Two franchise icons were gone in a matter of hours.

It had to be a belly-punch for fans, though those departures came with plenty of warnings. And yet, there was something fitting about the Seahawks moving on from two of the most significant players in the team’s history on the same day.

After all, they arrived the same day 10 years earlier. And they did so without a hint of fanfare.

When the second day of the 2012 NFL draft began, there was still shock at Seattle’s first-round pick of pass-rusher Bruce Irvin. Their pick in the second round, Wagner, was a bit easy for an inside linebacker and hardly one of the draft’s bigger names, after playing in Utah State.

And even though Wilson was a well-known customer after leading Wisconsin to a Rose Bowl title three months earlier, it was no secret why he was still available in the third round: he stood only 5-foot-10 and 5/8 inches. In addition, the Seahawks already had an exciting QB option in Matt Flynn, which they had just signed on for free agency.

Even though they had arrived with much higher expectations, no one could have expected that a few Day 2 picks would have Hall of Fame-worthy careers. Wagner achieved six first-team All-Pro picks and a spot on the All-Decade team in the 2010s. Wilson became the NFL’s highest paid player and one of its most recognizable stars. They came together for 17 Pro Bowls while helping lead the Seahawks to eight playoff appearances in their 10 seasons, the only Super Bowl title in franchise history, and yet another Super Bowl appearance, just as painful as it ended.

As the best quarterback in Seahawks history and the only one to win a Lombardi Trophy, Wilson should be an automatic choice for any Mount Rushmore from Seattle athletes. While it certainly helped to have a great defense and a Marshawn Lynch-led ground game early in his career, Wilson was so much more than a game manager in those Super Bowl seasons.

This now-defunct era of Seahawks football will be remembered for the legion of Boom’s audacity and ruthlessness, the unprecedented team success and for how nothing seemed impossible with Wilson as quarterback.

Not even a 12 point deficit with four minutes left. That was what the Seahawks overcame in the 2014 NFC Championship Game, when Wilson threw four interceptions (two came on the drop) and then helped construct a stunning rally over the Green Bay Packers, which he concluded with a walk-off, 35-yard touchdown Delivery to Jermaine Kearse during extra time.

Earlier in the game, Wilson took a terrible blindside shot to the head and walked off the field as if it were nothing, showing the trademark toughness and durability that allowed him to play nine full seasons without missing a game.

The 36 game-winning runs in the fourth quarter or overtime that Wilson led is a draw for most of any quarterback since joining the league in 2012. He averaged 37,059 yards and 292 touchdown passes for the Seahawks, while adding 4,689 yards and 23 touchdowns that ran. .

And if one game best illustrated his ability to make something out of nothing, it came in the Seahawks’ wildcard victory in 2015 over the Minnesota Vikings in minus degrees. When a premature shotgun snap bounced off his shoulder, Wilson avoided injury control. He instead picked up the ball, scrambled and hit Tyler Lockett for a long win that put the game’s only touchdown.

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Brady Henderson reports on the Seahawks’ release of Bobby Wagner and what it means for the team.

While Wagner did his part of wow games, his time with the Seahawks will be remembered more for consistent production than signature moments. He has made eight Pro Bowls in a row and has topped 100 tackles each year he has been in the NFL, including a career-high 170 last season. He also compiled 23.5 sacks and 11 interceptions in his 10 seasons at Seattle.

“Bobby is one of the great Seahawks of all time,” coach Pete Carroll said in the team’s announcement of Wagner’s release on Wednesday. “His leadership in the community, the locker room and on the pitch is a tribute to his character and consistency.”

Wagner was just as consistent by one person, not given to the impulsive behavior that led to some ugly moments for a couple of his teammates. He took that kind of temper – not to mention quite a bit of preparation and business acumen – for Wagner to negotiate his record-breaking $ 54 million extension in 2019 while acting as his own agent.

He had become the Seahawks’ defensive leader a year earlier when Seattle began to shift away from its LOB stars.

“Bobby has been at the center of our defense for the last 10 seasons and always represented our organization with class,” said general manager John Schneider in the team’s announcement, calling it an “extremely difficult day” for the organization. “He’s a special player and person and we’re eternally grateful. Bobby will always be a Hawk.”

The team may not announce Wilson’s trade or comment on it until the league year starts on Wednesday, but you can expect a magnificent tribute with lots of praise.

It is certain that Wilson disrupted the organization when he publicly expressed his frustrations in February 2021. But apart from one episode, he was an ideal face for a franchise.

No review of his legacy would be complete without a mention of his work in the community, which included frequent visits to sick children at Seattle Children’s Hospital and the more than $ 10 million he helped raise for its pediatric cancer research. Wilson and his wife Ciara opened a tuition-free charter school south of Seattle, among other charitable efforts.

This past season, Wagner began each of his weekly news conferences with a non-football topic, using the platform to discuss important topics such as mental health and financial understanding. He offered to take a group of students interested in venture capital and business on an out-of-season trip to Silicon Valley.

“Bobby set an incredible example for everyone to follow,” Carroll said, “and we will continue to follow him all the way to the Hall of Fame.”

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