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Silvi: The ROI in the Seahawks' deal with Bobby Wagner will be unmatched

The Seahawks have had their share of free agent signings with very little return on investment. Fortunately, those mistakes weren't financial disasters.

SEATTLE — Everyone on the planet likes a bargain - a great deal on a high-end product. A lot of times we'll settle for just getting our money's worth.

But if you're like me, you've spent money on something that was a complete waste or something you thought you needed, but used it once. Seemed like a great idea at the time, but it quickly lost its luster.

Most professional sports teams have had the same experience. They write checks for players who just take up space on their roster, without much return on investment.

The Seahawks have had their share of free agent signings with very little return on investment. Fortunately, those mistakes weren't financial disasters.

In 2017, they signed left tackle Luke Joeckel to a one-year, $8 million contract and running back Eddie Lacy to a one-year, $2.8 million deal. I won't bog you down with their less-than-impressive stats, only to say $10.8 million for two free-agent busts speaks pretty well for John Schneider's tenure.

Where the Seahawks have gotten into trouble in the past has been when they traded for top talent. 

The all-timer so far was their deal with the Vikings, trading a first-round draft pick and two other picks to Minnesota for receiver Percy Harvin. The Seahawks then signed Harvin to a new contract that guaranteed him $14.5 million. He played one regular season game in 2013, returned a kickoff for a touchdown in the Super Bowl, and then was traded to the Jets the next season. 


Why all the background? Because it speaks to the risks teams take trying to build a championship contender.

Which brings us to the Seahawks' present-day signing of Bobby Wagner. The Hawks released him a year ago, before his final season in Seattle in which he was scheduled to make more than $16 million.

Wagner didn't last long on as a free agent, signing with the Rams - a relationship that lasted one season.

Now, Wagner is back in Seattle for $7 million. The all-everything linebacker is coming off one of his most productive NFL seasons. He far and away led the Rams in tackles, had five sacks and started all 17 of their games.

One of his most impressive qualities isn't listed on the stat sheet. Durability. In his last eight seasons, Wagner has missed just two games. Two games as an inside linebacker, whose collision-rate was as high as his tackle success rate. 

And they got him for $7 million. It's a far cry from the $16 million owed him a year ago at this time.

Near the end of his final season in Seattle, Wagner was asked about his future with the team. When a reporter hinted at the possibility of Wagner re-working the final year of his contract to make it more team-friendly so he could stay in Seattle, Wagner cracked a smile and interjected as if to keep the reporter from uttering the words "hometown discount."

The perennial, all pro linebacker believed he was still worthy of being one of the highest-paid players at his position. He played like it in Los Angeles.

Judging from his prove-you-wrong mentality, he'll play at that same level for Seattle this fall at the age of 33.

In an off-season where the Seahawks have undergone major changes on defense with an influx of new talent, one thing they have yet to replace is Wagner's leadership. Granted, he may not create the second coming of the "Legion of Boom," but the ROI will be unmatched. 

Silvi Says: Geno Smith's new contract bodes well for other free-agent NFL quarterbacks

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