Originally written on cover32 - Seahawks  |  Last updated 5/22/15
The old adage goes that the middle or inside linebacker is the quarterback of the defense. They get the play calls from the sidelines and are responsible for relaying that information to their teammates and making sure everybody is on the same page. It’s arguably the most important position on the defense. If you want a great example of how vital a middle linebacker is, take a look at the Cowboys vs. Saints game from Sunday Night Football this past season. Sean Lee of the Cowboys went down with an injury in the middle of the game and the rest was pure chaos. Drew Brees and his receivers absolutely torched Dallas en route to a 49-17 win. They also managed 242 rushing yards, so they basically got anything they wanted on offense. There’s no overstating how big a capable middle linebacker is in today’s NFL. The Seahawks are extremely fortunate that they have one of the best and youngest at the position in Bobby Wagner. Any chance I get when I go on the radio to talk about the Seahawks I gush about Wagner. During the second half of the 2013 season he played at an All-Pro level and ended up leading the team in total tackles. In the epic matchup with the Patriots in 2012 Wagner tallied 14 and that’s not an accident. He is poised to put up Ray Lewis-like numbers for a long time. He’s played so well in fact that he’s going to demand top dollar on his next contract, and he’s not even 24 years old yet. Here’s Wagner’s situation with the Seahawks today: - Wagner is making on average a little more than a million dollars per year on his current deal - He counts for two million dead money against the cap - He’s under contract until 2016 - Which in today’s NFL means he’s under contract for next year and then negotiations will begin Paying an elite linebacker is an expensive proposition. The top earners at the position get somewhere around ten million per year in base salary, according to spotrac.com. Wagner may not get as much as a Brian Orakpo or a James Laurinaitis, but he’s definitely going to get a major raise when the time comes. Seattle currently has about $15 million in available salary cap space and still has to extend Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas, not to mention Russell Wilson. If you’re crunching the numbers you know by now that keeping Bobby Wagner past 2015 is not going to be easy. In fact it might be damn near impossible. That’s a heartbreaking fact of economics but it’s something the Seahawks have to prepare for. Fortunately, this year’s NFL draft is stocked at nearly every position, including inside linebacker. cover32 has ranked the top ten prospects here. If Seattle can snag one of them it will go a long way towards insuring against the day that Wagner’s accountant is eagerly anticipating. You may also be interested in:Can the Seahawks afford to keep Bobby Wagner?Bandwagon? What bandwagon? Seattle sports fans are for real.National Rewind: OLBs for the Seattle Seahawks, Power Rankings and hot Instagrams
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Goodell will not recuse himself from Brady appeal

Will Smith suspended eight games for 'foreign substance'

Report: Kobe Bryant likely to retire following next season

Don Shula named in painkiller lawsuit from former NFL players

Kyrie Irving questionable for Game 2 versus Atlanta


Michael Sam signs with CFL’s Montreal Alouettes

Ex-A&M quarterback Kenny Hill transferring to TCU

Michael Bennett compares Pete Carroll to Willy Wonka

Jim Kelly: There is no doubt Tom Brady cheated

Warriors hang on, edge Rockets in Game 2 thriller

Farrell 'not ruling anything out' as Red Sox's struggles persist

The Los Angeles Angels are finally finding their groove

Re-evaluating all 30 MLB teams at the quarter mark, ranked

Is virtual reality training the next leap forward for football?

Warriors a very shaky 2-0 against the Rockets

NFL icon Bud Grant zings Pats with Deflategate joke on Twitter

RG3 announces birth daughter's birth on social media

Don't listen to Nick Saban, the bowl system is just fine

MLB scores partial victory in minor league wage lawsuits

Ranking the NBA Playoffs' most significant injuries

WATCH: Will Smith ejected for foreign substance on arm

Guy behind NFL's social media trolling of Pats is a Jets fan?

In defense of 76ers general manager Sam Hinkie

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Jim Kelly: No doubt Tom Brady cheated

Post-combine NBA Draft big board: Top 30

Ex-players sue NFL for conspiring to push painkillers

Astros surprising, but can get better with Correa

Here come the Giants

Aaron Hernandez got new tattoo in prison

TUF weekly recap by NOS® Energy Drink

Ten players who could benefit due to PAT rule change

Five QBs set for breakout campaigns

Report: Lakers will pursue Thibodeau

MLS leaders struggling with attendance

LBS: I was a contestant on Sports Jeopardy!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.