Going into his 10th season in the NFL, Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner is no stranger to the short-term nature of the league's business dealings. Tied with quarterback Russell Wilson as the longest-tenured player on the team since their respective draft selections in 2012, Wagner has seen many of his teammates and friends come in and out of the Pacific Northwest.
No loss may hit him harder than that of linebacker K.J. Wright, his right hand man who currently remains a free agent but appears all but set to depart Seattle after 10 years in the "Emerald City." Once Wright's leave is finalized as expected, Wagner and Wilson will be the only players left from the Seahawks' 2013 Super Bowl-winning roster.
That number may grow by one in due time, however, as the team remains in contact with former "Legion of Boom" maestro Richard Sherman. Like Wright, the 33-year old cornerback is still a free agent with less than three weeks to go before training camps begin around the league.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider, who've squashed any notion of bad blood between the team and Sherman, have expressed interest in a potential reunion. Sherman is certainly keeping the door open as he seemingly nears a decision on his next destination, with ESPN's Jeremy Fowler most recently reinforcing the future Hall of Famer's interest.
If the two sides eventually come to an agreement, Wagner would be ecstatic to see Sherman in a Seahawks uniform again.
"Oh, I would love it," Wagner told Seahawk Maven in an exclusive interview. "If he came back, I would love to have him. He's somebody that I enjoyed playing with. You know, we had a lot of fun on the field, lot of fun off the field. "
When Sherman was released by the Seahawks in 2018 and subsequently took his talents to the division rival 49ers, he and Wagner, of course, remained friends but also teammates in some capacity at BODYARMOR. Though he was already a fan and consumer of the sports drink, Wagner attributes Sherman as an integral part of getting him on board as an investor and spokesperson for the company in the mid-2010s.
"I think I was drinking it before I knew Sherm was involved," Wagner revealed. "But Sherm definitely played a huge part in me kinda being involved with the brand."
Could it be Wagner who serves as a key facilitator of opportunity this time around, spearheading the campaign for Sherman to make his return to Seattle? Perhaps, though it ultimately falls on the shoulders of Carroll and Schneider at this point.
The Seahawks' current cornerback group has been met with a great deal of scrutiny over the course of the offseason after 2020 Week 1 starters Shaquill Griffin and Quinton Dunbar departed in free agency. On paper, it's widely regarded as the most concerning position group for a team with Super Bowl aspirations and Sherman, who's played at a high level when healthy as of late, should be able to alleviate some of that.
That said, this is a team that's expressed confidence in what it already has in house, particularly with 2020 breakout D.J. Reed, free agent addition Ahkello Witherspoon and 2021 fourth-round pick Tre Brown. Sherman, at the age of 33, would more than likely be a short-term solution for the Seahawks, inhibiting them from discovering if younger players like Reed or Witherspoon, who are free agents in 2022, are better fits in the long run.
This is also a team that currently has just $8.3 million in salary cap space, per OverTheCap.com. With tackle Duane Brown and safeties Quandre Diggs and Jamal Adams in search of contract extensions, signing additional outside free agents likely isn't at the forefront of the Seahawks' collective minds right now. And Sherman isn't going to come cheap, per Fowler's report on July 4.
But from a sentimental standpoint, it's easy to understand why this continues to be a topic of conversation within Seattle's fanbase. And again: when healthy, Sherman's still produced at this stage in his career, registering four interceptions and 16 pass deflections with an opponent passer rating of 90.6 in 34 games for the 49ers. On his way to his third career Super Bowl appearance and first with San Francisco in 2019, Sherman earned second-team All-Pro honors while posting an elite Pro Football Focus grade of 88.9.
However, the one glaring number on Sherman's stat sheet is his 1-2 record in the Super Bowl. The accomplished corner has twice had to watch his second ring slip through his fingers from the sideline; the first, of course, being in Super Bowl XLIX as Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler intercepted Russell Wilson at the goal line, and again in Super Bowl LIV as 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo overthrew a wide open Emmanuel Sanders for a potential game-clinching touchdown.
Sherman returning to Seattle to rectify that and finally hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy once again is the storybook finish many fans are dreaming on this offseason. For Wagner, it would be great just to have one of his best friends back on the same field as him.
"I've learned a lot from him," Wagner said. "Whether it's business, whether it's family, whether it's the game of football, the game of life. And so, to have one of your brothers come back is something that would definitely be embraced by me. I would love it and, you know, hopefully that works out."
Special thanks to BODYARMOR for making this interview possible. For more information on BODYARMOR, its partners and where to buy it, visit its website.