The Seattle Seahawks have revealed an interest in bringing back 8-time Pro Bowl linebacker Bobby Wagner. But Heavy’s NFL front officer insider Randy Mueller likes the idea of the Seahawks signing not only Wagner but also veteran defensive end Caladis Campbell.
“What if the Seahawks brought back Bobby Wagner and signed Caladis Campbell? Do you think their defense would have a little different look?” Mueller asked Paul Esden Jr. on a Heavy broadcast. “I know they’re older guys, I understand that, and we’re building for young for the most part.
“But there’s two guys that would make Pete Carroll’s last couple years in the league, I would think, pretty sustainable.”
Both Wagner and Campbell became free agents this offseason after their respective teams, the Los Angeles Rams and Baltimore Ravens, released them.
Seahawks Pursuing Bobby Wagner
Before Wagner was even released, rumors were floating that Wagner and the Seahawks were a match this offseason. Then during his weekly show on Seattle Sports, Seahawks general manager John Schneider admitted that he and Carroll were pursuing the possibility.
“We’ve been able to talk to Bobby now and address some of those things, so it’s worked out great,” Schneider told Seattle Sports’ “Wyman and Bob” during a March 9, 2023 interview. “We’re gonna be in communication as we go along throughout free agency now.”
Wagner failed to make first-team All-Pro during his final season with the Seahawks in 2021 for the first time since 2015. Showing some signs of slowing down and due to count as a $20.35 million cap hit for 2022, the Seahawks released Wagner last year.
In free agency, he then signed a five-year deal with the Rams.
Wagner didn’t make the Pro Bowl in 2022 for the first time since 2013, but he played extremely well for the Rams, recording a career-high 6 sacks with 140 combined tackles, including 10 for loss, 5 pass defenses and 2 interceptions.
While he’s set to turn 33 in June, the Seahawks have a need at inside linebacker, and Wagner could fill it in the short term.
The Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta reported Seattle sign inside linebacker Devin Bush on March 16, but Bush’s contract is a one-year prove-it deal. Wagner would be an immediate upgrade, and his arrival would allow the Seahawks to limit Bush’s snaps to situations best suited for him.
Spotrac estimated Wagner’s market value to be about $27.9 million on a three-year contract, giving the linebacker an average annually salary of about $9.3 million.
Could Seahawks Consider Caladis Campbell?
Like Wagner, the Seahawks could be interested in Campbell because he can fill a major defensive need in the short term.
Campbell has been a star for the Ravens, Arizona Cardinals, and Jacksonville Jaguars. In 15 NFL seasons, he’s made three All-Pro teams and six Pro Bowls. Turning 37 in September, the 2023 season could be his final one in the NFL.
But even in his mid-30s, Campbell remains an impactful player and at an important position. He recorded 5.5 sacks with 36 combined tackles, including 4 tackles for loss, and 14 quarterback hits in 2022.
The Ravens were forced to cut Campbell this offseason to save $7 million against the salary cap. But the team has expressed an interest in bringing back Campbell.
The Seahawks have already signed two defensive ends this offseason, but adding Campbell would give Seattle a very experienced pass-rushing presence and a veteran who could help the young defensive linemen grow in run defense.
Campbell also probably won’t be very expensive.
Wagner and Campbell are both short-term solutions because of their age, but their additions to the Seattle defense could push along the rebuild, which could be vitally important for the team’s 71-year-old head coach.