The Seahawks are optimistic that a deal will get done with middle linebacker Bobby Wagner before training camp starts next Friday, reports NFL Network's Rand Getlin, and the two sides are working toward agreeing on a long-term extension.
Wagner is slated to head into his contract year, and getting the deal done now would mean the Seahawks wouldn't have to worry about making a decision on which player to use the Franchise Tag on next year, meaning they could reserve it solely for Russell Wilson if it comes to that.
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. The Seahawks may reward Wagner and set the new standard for middle linebacker contracts by giving him $10 million per year. The final numbers will be interesting to see.
Brian Cushing's contract includes $21 million guaranteed, and is the current high-mark at that position for guaranteed money league-wide. New York Jets' linebacker David Harris recently signed a three-year extension that included $15.5 million in guarantees. Bobby Wagner's camp will likely be using these as baselines for negotiations.