49ers Linked as Potential Destination for Released Seahawks Star by Insider

Bobby Wagner

Getty Bobby Wagner #54 of the Seattle Seahawks tackles George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers during the first quarter at Lumen Field on December 05, 2021.

Adding a talented player to the roster is always a good thing, but taking him from a team like the Seattle Seahawks is as good as it gets for the San Francisco 49ers.

The two teams are familiar with players swapping San Francisco for Seattle or vice versa, with examples like corners D.J. Reed and Richard Sherman immediately coming to mind. Now, the 49ers could be looking to add one of their rivals’ most prominent names in linebacker Bobby Wagner.

Wagner is reportedly being released from the Seahawks according to Adam Schefter, after 10 seasons in Seattle. Alongside the trading of quarterback Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos, the team is moving on from a legendary era.

The Athletic reporter Michael-Shawn Dugar’s immediate reaction to the news was that Wagner could very likely join the 49ers or another NFC West rival, like how Sherman did when he left the team in 2018.

“If/when Bobby Wagner’s reported release is official, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him land with a rival team in the NFC West, just like Sherm did in 2018,” Dugar tweeted on March 8.

The move would make a huge wave in the division and in the NFL, as an already strong Niners defense could get even better with a name like Wagner. However, there are obstacles due to cap space and the roster that would need to be addressed first.

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Wagner’s Cost and 49ers’ Funds

You can’t add a six-time All-Pro linebacker to your team without paying up, and, unfortunately, the Niners are tight on cash at the current moment. Spotrac estimates San Francisco has $2.95 million in cap space before any of their other moves.

Further, Wagner is estimated to be worth around $9.4 million for his 2021 play according to Over the Cap, so there’s already an immediate discrepancy in the budget. However, there are moves San Francisco is likely to make that can help free money.

The first and most obvious one is trading QB Jimmy Garoppolo, which will free up over $25 million. The team could also get another $6.5 million by cutting or trading pass rusher Samson Ebukam, although his explosive end to the season makes it hard to cut him.

But besides the money, there’s also the concern over where Wagner fits in. The 49ers’ star linebacker Fred Warner isn’t going anywhere, but Dre Greenlaw might be the one who opens space for Wagner to arrive.

Seahawks Star Can Arrive if Greenlaw Departs

ESPN reporter Jeremy Fowler linked Greenlaw as a possible trade piece this offseason, due to the fact he’s entering the final year of his rookie contract. The 49ers have already committed a lot of money to Warner, and paying Greenlaw would be expensive.

Signing Wagner would also be expensive, but his pedigree and ability is worth the price. Greenlaw is a good player, but he simply isn’t on the level of Wagner and if the 49ers were to pay a second LB big money, Wagner makes much more sense.

In that scenario, it’d be interesting to see how the 49ers would line up. It’s hard to imagine Wagner playing anywhere than the central inside linebacker role, which would cause Warner to have more snaps at an outside linebacker position.

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