SEATTLE – With a huge number of caps in 2022 and a potential roster reshuffle after the Seattle Seahawks’ worst season in more than a decade, veteran linebacker Bobby Wagner knows his future with the team beyond this year is uncertain.

Even if the eternal All-Pro continues to accumulate tackles at a record rate.

“You think about it,” Wagner said Wednesday. “You think about what next year will be like and what the future has in store for us because it was a season that I don’t think we all planned for. We hadn’t planned for the season to unfold from this way, so obviously there are going to be some changes and whether or not I’m part of those changes, I don’t know. “

Wagner, 31, is expected to count $ 20.35 million against the Seahawks’ salary cap next season in what is expected to be the last year of his contract. None of the $ 16.6 million he could earn is guaranteed, so the Seahawks would save that amount over their cap by trading or releasing Wagner while incurring $ 3.75 million in dead money.

Wagner, who is his own agent, negotiated his three-year, $ 54 million extension in 2019. That made him the highest-paid linebacker in the NFL at the time in terms of annual average.

Uncertainty about his future comes as he wraps up his eighth consecutive Pro Bowl season, which is tied for the second-most Pro Bowl count in franchise history. He’s been named to the All-Pro First Team six times in his first nine seasons and could be close to earning the honor for the seventh time, given his productivity this year.

Wagner leads the NFL with 170 tackles, surpassing his own franchise record he set in 2016. According to ESPN Stats & Information, the most tackles a player has made in a season since 2000 is 174, a number that both Patrick Willis (2007) and Jerod Mayo (2010) hit on.

“I think that’s something that… I’ll probably think about it after the season,” Wagner said of his franchise tackle record. “It’s something I’m grateful for. Obviously my teammates play a huge role in this. But then, for me, it just confirms the consistency that you keep doing things the right way and keep taking. taking care of your body and continue with taking care of your mind and trying to perform and play the game at a high level, there is still room to improve. “

Wagner, who is in his 10th season, said he doesn’t plan to call it a career anytime soon.

“I feel like I have a lot of room to grow as a player, to grow as a leader,” he said. “I have a feeling that there are a lot of new technologies out there that are going to allow me to play a bit longer, so I’m excited to be diving into [that] stuff, and I think we’ll see how that works. “

The Seahawks drafted Wagner in the second round in 2012, the same year they took quarterback Russell Wilson in the third. The two pillars of the franchise face an uncertain future, albeit for different reasons. Wagner’s ceiling load in 2022 may have left him vulnerable anyway, but the way Seattle’s season has unfolded adds another layer of uncertainty.

On the same day, Wagner broke his own tackling record, the Seahawks losing a 10-point fourth-quarter lead to the Chicago Bears in perhaps their most disappointing loss of the season. He officially knocked them out of the playoffs, secured them a final spot in NFC West and marked their first season with double-digit losses since going 5-11 in 2009.

“All I can control is those last two games and figure it out from there,” Wagner said. “Whatever the team thinks is the best thing to move forward, we’ll see how that plays out.”

Also on Wednesday, the Seahawks placed veteran running back Adrian Peterson on the injured reserve, ending his season. The future Hall of Famer joined his training squad on December 1 and scored a touchdown on his Seattle debut four days later, but has since been sidelined with a back injury.

Peterson’s score in Seattle’s victory over the 49ers put him tied with Jim Brown on the NFL’s all-time touchdown list. Coach Pete Carroll said his back problem arose during the team’s first visit three days later. He was making progress last week, according to Carroll, but his back was not responding well enough to treatment to come back.

Carroll said: “It’s a shame he just left, had a big game and we’re trying to keep moving forward and he just didn’t come back from that game, and he’s not come back again. “


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