What a two days for the Seahawks. So what that they are still six weeks from playing any real games.
Team owner Paul Allen tweeted Saturday night All-Pro Bobby Wagner has a four-year contract extension with the Seahawks.
NFL Network, which first reported the agreement, said late Saturday it’s worth $43 million, with a whopping $22 million guaranteed. As expected, that will make Wagner the game’s highest-paid middle linebacker.
That news came a day after Seattle re-signed franchise quarterback Russell Wilson to another four-year deal worth $87.6 million.
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So maybe it’s true Allen really does print money — under the NFL’s salary cap, even.
“@Seahawks signed LB @Bwagz54 to a 4 year extension tonight! #GoHawks” Allen tweeted.
The owner then tweeted a picture of general manager John Schneider and Wagner sitting side by side and smiling as the linebacker signed his contract tonight at team headquarters.
Seattle completed its top two goals for before the season opener in a span of about 39 hours. And now they have the highest-paid middle linebacker in league history and the second-highest paid QB in the game.
What’s next, Kam Chancellor showing up at training camp to end his holdout?
The $7.2 million in prorated, future salary-cap costs the Seahawks saved by trading Percy Harvin to the New York Jets last October is paying off handsomely now.
Wagner’s rookie contract from being a second-round draft choice in 2012 ends after this season. With his speed, smarts and tackling ability, he’s come to be considered along with Carolina’s Luke Kuechly the top two middle linebackers in the NFL. Thus he could be getting as much as $10 million per season as the league’s highest-paid middle linebacker in a new deal.
Earlier Saturday evening Michael Robinson of NFL Network, a former Seahawks teammate of Wagner’s ending two seasons ago before the fullback’s retirement, tweeted Wagner had a deal:
Wagner said on Friday — hours after Seattle re-signed the linebacker’s draft classmate Wilson — that it was important he be recognized as the top middle linebacker in the league.
Pittsburgh’s Lawrence Timmons was the highest-paid middle linebacker in the league before Saturday night’s news, with a five-year contract averaging $9,559,150 per year. San Francisco’s NaVorro Bowman is averaging $9,050,000 on his five-year deal. Brian Cushing is averaging $8.75 million with Houston.
Those three have combined for half as many Super Bowl starts as Wagner has had in his three-year career. None of them is an All-Pro.
Asked if it’s important to him to be the NFL’s highest-paid middle linebacker, Wagner said: “It’s important to me to be recognized as one of the best.
“Like I said, it’s not up to me. I let the people who get paid to figure that out figure that out. My job is to go out there and make sure this defense is run right and be the best defense. And it will be the best defense you’ll see on this field. Again.”
On Friday after the Seahawks got Wilson’s deal done coach Pete Carroll stressed “We’re not done” — then strongly hinted the ongoing talks with Wagner’s agent could produce an agreement soon.
“We’re on it. We’re on it,” Carroll said.
“We’re on it and we’re going to keep competing to get that done. We have planned for this for a long time and nothing has changed in all that. Our guys are working at it by the hour here.
“The sky is the limit for the guy. We love him. He’s going to be with us for a long time.”