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This is why Bobby Wagner should be paid top dollar in a new contract

SeahawksWagnerLeap.jpg
Stephen Brashear
/
The Associated Press
Seahawks' linebacker Bobby Wagner (54) leaps to block a field goal attempt by Minnesota Vikings' Dan Bailey in the second half of a game, Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, in Seattle.

The Seahawks may be in for a contentious summer as star linebacker Bobby Wagner tries to negotiate a new contract with the team. It's the topic of this week's conversation between KNKX sports commentator Art Thiel and Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick.

WORTH IT

"He's the quarterback of the defense," Thiel said. "He's the best in the game right now. And he deserves top-of-market consideration."

Thiel pointed out that there is money to pay Wagner top dollar. He said the team is $25 million under the salary cap, aided by the retirement of wide receiver Doug Baldwin. But there is the issue of his age.

"Wagner will be 29 next month," Thiel said. "And in football, 30 is the new 60, unfortunately, because players tend to age out of their contracts around age 30.

"The Seahawks have to figure out a way to get Wagner his cash but without burdening them in case he gets hurt.

"They don't want a repeat of the Kam Chancellor episode a couple of years ago when Kam just signed a new contract extension and then got hurt."

UNIQUE STRATEGY

Wagner has been attending the team's voluntary organized team activities (OTAs) but he hasn't been practicing. He's also acting as his own agent in negotiations. Theil said it's a risky move, but he thinks it will work out in the end.

"Right now, Wagner has got a year left on his contract. I expect that he will be in (training) camp and practicing with the Seahawks and trying to finesse this deal without an actual holdout.

"And I think the parties have enough mutual respect to make the thing work."

Never miss an episode again. Subscribe to Sports With Art Thiel with iTunes or Google Play now. You can find Art Thiel's work at Sportspress Northwest and Crosscut.com.

Kirsten Kendrick has been hosting Morning Edition on KNKX/KPLU since 2006. She has worked in news radio for more than 30 years. Kirsten is also a sports lover. She handles most sports coverage at the station, including helping produce a two-part series on the 50th anniversary of Title IX and the ongoing series "Going Deep."
Art Thiel is a co-founder and writer for the rising sports website Sportspress Northwest. In 2003 Thiel wrote the definitive book about the Seattle Mariners, “Out of Left Field,” which became a regional bestseller. In 2009, along with Steve Rudman and KJR 950 afternoon host Mike Gastineau, Thiel authored “The Great Book of Seattle Sports Lists,” a cross between historylink.org and Mad Magazine that has become mandatory reading for any sports fan who has an indoor bathroom.
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