But Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk says how the Seahawks supposedly mistreated Wagner during his release could have a negative impact on Seattle’s ability to sign free agents.
“Bobby Wagner has said that he didn’t even hear from the Seahawks that he was being released, which is odd because he represents himself,” Florio said on Pro Football Talk PM on Friday.
“You got to treat your best players better than that. Because you hope other players are going to aspire to be your best players and stay with you and little things like that get around. On the eve of free agency when you’ve got a lot of money to spend, you want this getting out there?
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Bobby Wagner Throws Shade at Seahawks
In the first 24 hours of his release, Wagner remained cordial to his former team. On March 9, he tweeted, “Thank you Seattle for everything. It will forever be my home.”
Wagner was far less congenial the next time he tweeted on March 11.
While Florio admitted that money is a top priority for a lot of players in free agency, he also said this could negatively impact Seattle’s opportunity to sign free agents beginning next week.
“That might make guys think a little bit differently about Seattle,” said Florio.
“What you want to be able to do in free agency is win the ties. You want to be able to get the guy without having to pay a dollar more. This is the kind of thing that causes you to not win the ties.”
This might not be the first time the Seahawks have done this to a former All-Pro player. Former Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman implied in a Tweet on March 11 that the same thing happened when the Seahawks released him.
Not a Good Look for Seahawks Days Before Free Agency
Whether or not Wagner’s tweet has an impact on Seattle in free agency remains to be seen. But other Seahawks reporters agree with Florio that not informing Wagner of his release wasn’t a good look for the organization.
Seahawks beat writer Gregg Bell of the Tacoma News Tribune reports that the team and Wagner, who represents himself without an agent, had been negotiating through early March a possible restructuring of Wagner’s contract to lower his $20.35 million cap hit.
“Wagner is saying by his post Friday that despite those direct negotiations between player and team, the Seahawks didn’t tell him he wasn’t returning for an 11th season with Seattle,” Bell wrote.
Bell also reported the Seahawks did not immediately respond to his request for comment on Wagner’s tweet.
A former second-round pick, Wagner made eight straight Pro Bowls and six first-team All-Pro teams in his decade with the Seahawks. Seattle saved $16 million by releasing Wagner.
Spotrac reports the Seahawks have the fourth-most salary cap space in the NFL as of March 12 with $45.8 million to spend this offseason.