With the calendar flipping to July and offseason programs recently wrapping up, NFL training camps will begin around the league in less than a month. To celebrate the new incoming season, we will be breaking down the Seahawks' 90-man roster over the next several weeks, exploring best and worst-case scenarios and what to expect from each player entering the 2021 campaign.
Bobby Wagner, Linebacker
Height/Weight: 6-foot, 242 pounds
2020 Stats: 138 tackles, 3.0 sacks, eight passes defensed in 16 games
Following his 30th birthday, Wagner didn't miss a beat in his ninth season with the Seahawks. With the pass rush up front struggling to pressure opposing quarterbacks, defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. sent him more frequently on the blitz out of necessity early in the season. Taking advantage of these opportunities, he produced a trio of sacks and eight quarterback hits in the first nine games. After Carlos Dunlap arrived via trade and Jamal Adams returned from injury for the second half, the team didn't need to send him near as often, but he continued to rack up tackles in bunches. By the end of the regular season, he had surpassed 130 tackles for the fifth consecutive season and the sixth time in his illustrious career. He also performed better in coverage compared to the 2019 season, with opposing passers posting a quarterback rating 30 points lower and completing 16 percent less of their passes when targeting him. Turning in another sensational all-around campaign manning the middle of Seattle's defense, he garnered First-Team All-Pro honors for the fifth straight season and sixth time overall. He also was selected to his seventh Pro Bowl squad.
Best Case Scenario: Showing no signs of slowing down, Wagner eclipses 140 tackles for the sixth straight season, records a pair of interceptions, and continues to be a factor as a blitzer, earning himself his seventh First-Team All-Pro honor and further solidifying his status as the best linebacker of his generation.
Worst Case Scenario: With age becoming a factor, Wagner clearly loses a step and though he remains effective with over 100 tackles, he struggles holding up in coverage defending running backs and tight ends and fails to earn All-Pro honors for the first time since 2013.
What to Expect in 2021: Now entering his 10th season, Wagner remains the undisputed leader of Seattle's defense and one of the best linebackers in the game. While he has started to show some decline in terms of athleticism and doesn't have the same wheels he did earlier in his career, his elite instincts should allow him to continue playing at a high level, especially with a talented youngster such as Jordyn Brooks playing alongside him. Barring injury, he should be a lock to easily hit triple digits for tackles for the 10th straight season and will be utilized occasionally as a blitzing linebacker to supplement the pass rush. Coverage remains the biggest question mark moving forward as he continues to age, but given his track record and football savvy, he should remain effective in that area as well, putting him squarely in the mix for another All-Pro selection.
Previous Seahawks 90-Man Roster Primers
Alex McGough | Darvin Kidsy | Greg Eiland | Joshua Moon | Cam Sutton | Walter Palmore | Jared Hocker | Brad Lundblade | Aashari Crosswell | Myles Adams | Jon Rhattigan | Aaron Fuller | Bryan Mills I Jake Curhan | Jarrod Hewitt | Connor Wedington | Nate Evans | Danny Etling | John Ursua | Gavin Heslop | Pier-Oliver Lestage | Tommy Champion | Cody Thompson | Josh Johnson | Saivion Smith | Jordan Miller | Aaron Donkor | Robert Nkemdiche | Alex Collins | Tyler Mabry | Damarious Randall | Cade Johnson | Cedrick Lattimore | Phil Haynes | Geno Smith | Kyle Fuller | Travis Homer | Tyler Ott | Rasheem Green | Ben Burr-Kirven | Penny Hart | Jamarco Jones | Aldon Smith | DeeJay Dallas | Nick Bellore | Stone Forsythe | Colby Parkinson | Al Woods | Cedric Ogbuehi | Alton Robinson | Jordan Simmons | Pierre Desir | Ryan Neal | Tre Flowers | Michael Dickson | Jason Myers | Freddie Swain | Cody Barton | Bryan Mone | Benson Mayowa | Rashaad Penny | Ugo Amadi | Ethan Pocic | Tre Brown | Darrell Taylor | Will Dissly | Ahkello Witherspoon | Kerry Hyder | Marquise Blair | Brandon Shell | D'Wayne Eskridge | L.J. Collier | Gerald Everett | D.J. Reed | Damien Lewis | Chris Carson | Jordyn Brooks | Poona Ford | Carlos Dunlap | Quandre Diggs | Jamal Adams | Duane Brown | DK Metcalf