With talks between the Seahawks and Russell Wilson meandering into mid-June, Seattle has focused their gaze on another key member of the team, middle linebacker Bobby Wagner. As Ian Rapoport reports,
While the Russell Wilson talks have gone slowly, #Seahawks turn their attention to an extension for Bobby Wagner. They've begun discussions— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 8, 2015
This is welcome news -- with the Russell Wilson saga taking center-stage for Seattle this offseason, there hasn't been a ton of discussion on Wagner's future. Wagner indicated in mid-May that the negotiations hadn't yet begun, telling Jayson Jenks of the Seattle Times that, "I've heard nothing, so until I get something to sign, then I haven't heard nothing."
Wagner added that he'd like to get a deal done "soon." Well, he may get a chance at that, assuming the Seahawks move aggressively to lock him up before the season, as they did with Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, and Doug Baldwin before him.
Wagner has grown into one of the top inside linebackers in the NFL, along with Luke Kuechly and NaVorro Bowman. Pittsburgh's Lawrence Timmons has the top inside linebacker contract in the NFL, averaging $9.56 million per year, followed closely by Bowman, whose deal averages $9.05 million per. Wagner will likely be looking to get somewhere into that area, if not higher.
Brian Cushing's $21 million in guaranteed money with Houston sets the market for his position in terms of that metric. New York Jets' linebacker David Harris recently signed a three-year extension that included $15.5 million in guarantees.