Seahawks reach 1-year, $7M deal to bring back Bobby Wagner

SEATTLE -- Bobby Wagner is coming back to where he built a Hall of Fame résumé.

The Seattle Seahawks announced Saturday they had agreed to terms with the free agent linebacker and later tweeted a picture of Wagner signing his contract. The move reunites the Seahawks with arguably the greatest defensive player in franchise history while filling a significant need in their linebacker corps. And it signals that the fences have been mended following Wagner's messy departure last offseason.

A source told ESPN's Adam Schefter that Wagner's deal is for one year and $7 million.

Wagner wrote on Instagram: "Maaaan! Glad to be back in Seattle! It means a lot to be able to come back ! Let's get to work"

The news of Wagner's return was broken by Seahawks safety Quandre Diggs, who had been publicly stumping for the team to bring him back ever since Wagner and the Los Angeles Rams mutually agreed to part ways earlier last month.

Seahawks general manager John Schneider said before the start of free agency that he and coach Pete Carroll had spoken to Wagner, 32, about a potential return. On Thursday, Schneider told Seattle Sports 710 AM that the two sides remained in conversations.

"We've been talking to Bobby, and what I can tell you is we'll see what shakes out, see how this goes," Schneider said. "Everybody knows how much respect we have for Bobby ... He had a great season this last year. We'll continue to speak with him and stay in touch and see how this goes."

Wide receiver Tyler Lockett and tight end Will Dissly were among the Seahawks who celebrated Wagner's return on social media.

A second-round pick by Seattle in 2012, Wagner is the franchise's all-time leading tackler and a member of the Seahawks teams that won Super Bowl XLVIII before losing Super Bowl XLIX the following season.

His release from the Rams on March 15 came a year after the nine-time All-Pro and Southern California native signed a five-year, $50 million contract with Los Angeles that included $20 million in guarantees. Wagner earned second-team All-Pro honors after posting 140 tackles, a career-high six sacks, two interceptions and five passes defended while starting all 17 games. Pro Football Focus rated Wagner as the top linebacker in the NFL last season.

It was the ninth time in his 11 seasons in which he was named an All-Pro (six times on the first team, three on the second). That came after Wagner was released by the Seahawks last March after 10 seasons with the team. He voiced his displeasure both publicly and directly to the Seahawks' decision-makers over how he had caught wind of their plan to move on from him before he had heard it from them.

After releasing Wagner, the Seahawks moved Cody Barton into a starting role at inside linebacker alongside Jordyn Brooks. Barton signed with the Washington Commanders in free agency after an up-and-down season. Brooks tore an ACL in December, putting his availability for the start of the 2023 season in jeopardy. Seattle signed former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Devin Bush to a one-year, $3.5 million deal earlier this month.

In 11 NFL seasons, Wagner has 1,523 tackles, 29.5 sacks, 13 interceptions and six forced fumbles.

He's the second former Seahawks player to rejoin the team since the start of free agency, along with defensive tackle Jarran Reed. Seattle's moves so far have been largely focused on bolstering a front seven that struggled mightily in 2022 while transitioning to a new 3-4 front without longtime captain Wagner.

In addition to Wagner and Reed, the Seahawks signed former Denver Broncos defensive tackle Dre'Mont Jones to a three-year, $51.53 million deal. Seattle released defensive linemen Shelby Harris, Quinton Jefferson and Al Woods.

ESPN's Nick Wagoner contributed to this report.