Pete Carroll expresses "love" for Bobby Wagner, stops short of committing to future

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 04: Head coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks high fives Bobby Wagner #54 against the Miami Dolphins during the first quarter at Hard Rock Stadium on October 04, 2020 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Michael

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll expressed his appreciation for linebacker Bobby Wagner without fully committing to his continued presence in the middle of the team's defense moving forward.

Speaking Wednesday from the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Carroll acknowledged Wagner's contract as an issue the team will have to navigate.

"We expect to play with Bobby," Carroll said. "We love playing with Bobby. He’s been a great player, another great season. At this time of year, there’s a lot of guys that are in the position where we got to figure out where everybody fits together, and Bobby’s been such a steady part of it. We’d love to be able to play with him, so we’ll work towards that. If we can do that, we’ll do it."

Wagner is entering the final year of his contract with Seattle and is set to earn $16.35 million in base salary. His cost against the team's salary cap is currently slated to be $20.35 million, per OverTheCap.com.

Wagner's contract is the second-most expensive on the team behind only quarterback Russell Wilson. Seattle would recoup $16.6 million they owe him for this season ($16.35 million base salary and $250,000 in per game roster bonuses) against their salary cap if they released him this offseason.

The Seahawks could give Wagner a contract extension that would potentially lower his salary cap commitments for this season.

Wagner is one of the most decorated players in franchise history. He's been named as a first-team All-Pro selection six times in his 10-year career in Seattle. Hall of Fame left tackle Walter Jones is second on the list with four. Wagner is an eight-time Pro Bowl selection, which trails Jones by one for most in franchise history.

Wagner has twice led the NFL in tackles and was a member of the NFL's All-Decade Team for the 2010's. 

Notes:

  • Carroll said wide receiver DK Metcalf's foot surgery earlier this offseason was to address issues that had arisen from a previous surgery on his foot. Metcalf injured his foot in practice ahead of the team's Week Four matchup with the San Francisco 49ers last season."They fixed the surgery that he had had in his foot a couple years back," Carroll said. "They just had to go in there and adjust some stuff in his foot. It bothered him all year long. That’s why I told you that he was not able to practice. He practiced one day a week, a couple walkthroughs, and always had to be guarded just to maintain his progress, which is not what was best for him. He needed to be working, he needed to be out there. It would’ve helped us and helped himself too. He knew it, we all knew it. There was just nothing we could do about it. He did everything he could. He did admirably, remarkably well, but you can only get so much done. He’s still a young player. He’s still a developing player, and he’ll get better." 
  • Carroll said free safety Quandre Diggs should be fully healthy in time for training camp in July after suffering a dislocated ankle and broken fibula in the final game of the season against the Arizona Cardinals in January. "That’s all he’s thinking about," Carroll said. "He’ll be back before then I would think."Diggs will be an unrestricted free agent in March. Carroll said the team hopes to keep Diggs in Seattle."We really want to get him back," Carroll said. 
  • Running back Chris Carson is progressing from neck surgery that ended his 2021 season after just four games. Carson tried to recover enough to return to action but was unable to do so."His workouts are going well, he’s in good spirits, and he’s looking forward to playing and getting back," Carroll said. "Anytime you have a neck surgery, it’s obviously very intricate and all. We’ve got to see how that works out. You know how much I’ve always loved Chris, I’d love to get him back if we can get him back." 
  • Strong safety Jamal Adams is also recovering from surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder."He sounds great," Carroll said. "He’s just champing at the bit. He just, he wants to get going right now. He feels like, he left too much out there. And also, his attitude is great. I just communicated with him Monday." 
  • Defensive backs Marquise Blair and Tre Brown are both recovering from knee injuries. Blair fractured his patella after six games while Brown tore his ACL after five games."Sounds great. It sounds great" Carroll said of Blair. "He’s had a long time to work this recovery, so he’s in good shape right now. And he’s hopping around pretty good.""Tre is doing well. He’s working hard at it. He’s active already and going. He’s pushing himself hard, so there’s always going to be some struggle in there, but he’s really optimistic and really positive. He’s been around the building a bunch, so we’re looking for him to be a big part of what’s going on next year." 
  • In an off-podium session with local reporters, Carroll said the team hopes to bring back Geno Smith as their backup quarterback. Smith was arrested on suspicion of DUI in January."I think it’s going to run its course and everything should be worked out," Carroll said, via Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times.Smith has been with the team the last two seasons and started three games in place of an injured Russell Wilson last season. He completed 68.4 percent of his passes for 702 yards with five touchdowns and an interception.

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