Bobby Wagner: I didn’t want to leave Seattle, but I’m at peace with the situation

The Seahawks elected to release longtime linebacker Bobby Wagner in March, making him a free agent for the first time in his career after 10 seasons with the franchise.

Wagner ended up staying in the NFC West, signing a five-year contract with the Rams. But Wagner is still committed to the Seattle community, having hosted a charity field day earlier this week.

There, Wagner explained that while he wasn’t thrilled at the way the Seahawks handled his release, he’s happy to continue his career in Southern California, which is where he grew up.

“Obviously, there are still feelings there [about being released],” Wagner said, via Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. “But at the end of the day, I have a different perspective. I think my opinion on it would have been different if I ended up somewhere else. But to have the opportunity to go home and play not far from my family. Like I haven’t played this close to my family since high school [Colony High in Ontario, Calif.].

“I didn’t want to leave Seattle. But if I was going to leave Seattle, home was the next-best thing for me and so being able to be home, like I’m at peace with the situation. But still, any competitor is looking forward to going back to the place that you played that they felt like you didn’t have nothing left and proving them wrong.”

Wagner, who just turned 32 in late June, still feels has plenty left in the tank to meaningfully contribute to the Rams.

“I think that I’m in a better position to make plays and I think I’m going to have more opportunities to do some of the things that I was doing early on in my career,” Wagner said. “So I think I’m going to surprise everybody but myself.”

Wagner was selected for his eighth consecutive Pro Bowl in 2021. He was also a second-team All-Pro selection, ending a streak of five straight first-team All-Pro honors.