RENTON, Wash. (AP) — No matter whether the Seattle Seahawks season ends on Sunday or not, linebacker Bobby Wagner doesn’t plan on it being his last game.
The 33-year-old, six-time first-team All-Pro selection said Wednesday he has every intention of playing next season, which would be his 13th in the league.
“There’s no might. I never thought anything else outside of that,” Wagner said.
The Seahawks will close the regular season in Arizona needing a win over the Cardinals and a Green Bay loss at home to Chicago to make the postseason. Wagner will be in the middle of Seattle’s defense on Sunday as he has for nearly every snap of this season in his return to the Seahawks.
Wagner will go into the finale with 168 total tackles and 3½ sacks and he’s played more than maybe he and the Seahawks first thought when he returned. Wagner has been on the field for nearly every defensive snap, playing 100% of the snaps in 15 of Seattle’s 17 games. The only two games where he wasn’t on the field for every snap were blowouts — a win over the Giants and a loss to the Ravens.
“He’s had a fantastic season coming back to us,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. “His leadership. The example that he sets for other guys; he doesn’t have to say much. He just does everything well and right.”
Whether Wagner remains with the Seahawks is probably the underlying unknown. Wagner spent his first 11 seasons with the Seahawks before being released in a salary cap move. He signed with the Los Angeles Rams for 2022, but spent only one season in his hometown before returning to the Seahawks on a one-year deal for this season.
Seattle’s defense could be in for another makeover this offseason. The Seahawks go into the finale 27th in total defense and 30th at stopping the run, and has been exceptionally bad at stopping the run for the past 11 games where they’ve been giving up an average of 159.1 yards per game on the ground.
But when asked if he’d like to have Wagner back, Carroll quietly said, “I would think yes. We’d love to have him.”
Wagner said he wasn’t worried about the future when he agreed to the one-year, $5.5 million deal to rejoin the Seahawks. With the season possibly ending on Sunday, it’s come back into focus.
“I didn’t think too far,” Wagner said. “I was trying to be present in the moment that I had and try to make the most out of that and let the cards fall where they may.”
NOTES: Carroll said the Seahawks don’t expect offensive linemen Abe Lucas (knee) or Jason Peters (foot) to play against the Cardinals. LB Jordyn Brooks should have a chance at playing after missing last week because of an ankle injury. … C Evan Brown (concussion) was cleared to participate in walkthrough on Wednesday whether he’s cleared from concussion protocol before Sunday’s game is unknown.