In the wake of the longtime Seahawks’ linebacker release this week, the Patriots are a great suitor to give him a new home. Read to find out why this could be a great pickup for the Pats.
Bobby Wagner to the Patriots seems imminent
Bobby Wagner’s release from the Seattle Seahawks this week came as a shock to most followers of the NFL. It comes in the wake of the Seahawks’ blockbuster trade of Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos.
Wagner has played his entire career with Seattle and is an 8x Pro-Bowler and 6x First-team All-Pro over his 10 year professional career. The linebacker has been the defensive backbone of the Seahawks from 2012 on, and won Super Bowl XLVIII with Seattle back in 2013.
He’ll now be a free agent for the first time in his career, and the value that he could add to an already lockdown New England defense is massive.
A Great Match
In July of 2021, PFF rated Wagner the best linebacker in the NFL, and now that he’s a free agent, he’s going to have the pick of the litter in terms of new teams. After his release from Seattle, the Patriots have immediately emerged as one of the teams with the best chances to sign Wagner.
Just this week they released linebacker Kyle Van Noy who had been with New England from 2016-2019 and then joined back up in 2021. Now that the Patriots have a linebacker position to fill, who better than the top rated linebacker from less than a year ago.
Wagner and the Patriots are both in win now mode and both know what it’s like to taste victory in the Super Bowl. The Patriots showed a lot of prowess with a rookie quarterback last season, and this potential move to sign Wagner can only make them a better unit overall.
Bobby Wagner is still putting up great numbers at 31 years old, as well. In 2021 he was 3rd in tackles in the league with a single-season career high 170 and got both Second-team all-pro and Pro-Bowl nods.
If signed by New England he’d be joining a defensive front that was rated 2nd best in the NFL at the end of the 2021 regular season and would join a linebacker core that currently consists most notably of Dont’a Hightower and Matthew Judon.
Judon has actually already been in recruitment mode as he has already reached out to Bobby Wagner, trying to convince him to come to New England.
Wagner’s pass-rush ability is something that would only serve to make the Patriots an even more lockdown defensive unit. His ability to pressure opposing quarterbacks and disrupt offensive flow is without question, and his presence on the Patriots has the potential to elevate them over the Buffalo Bills on that side of the ball.
Patriots Defensive Priorities
If the Patriots want to continue to establish the defensive supremacy the NFL has seen out of them over the past few seasons, they have two big moves to focus on. One is to sign Bobby Wagner and the other is to re-sign Pro-Bowl cornerback J.C. Jackson.
A Patriots defense that featured both Bobby Wagner and J.C. Jackson alone is something that New England fans should be very excited about the prospect of. That’s not even mentioning the entirety of the Patriots’ defensive talent as a total unit.
If the Pats don’t want to play second fiddle to the Bills any longer and wish to re-establish themselves as top dogs in the AFC East, they have to build up their main strength which is undeniably defense.
On top of having a top tier linebacker in Wagner, re-signing Jackson would give the Patriots a player who was 1st in interceptions in the AFC and was rated the 3rd best ballhawk by NFL.com back in November.