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Former Seahawk Bobby Wagner is returning to Seattle on Sunday, this time as a member of the Los Angeles Rams.
For Wagner, it’s a sort of homecoming, after spending 10 years as a key member of the Seahawks organization.
He spoke on Wednesday about what it meant to him to come back, and how he felt before moving to LA.
According to the Associated Press, Wagner described Seattle as “the organization that you feel gave up on you.”
He was cut in March, in what was described as an “abrupt, impersonal transaction” that still stings.
Despite the frustration, he says he’s “forever grateful” to have been in Seattle at such a young age.
“That really became my second home, and it’s a place where I grew up. I grew up in California, but really, (at the age of) 21, I was on my own, making my own decisions, doing my own thing. I didn’t have the parents controlling everything. That’s really where I grew up, and they accepted me. They showed a lot of love, and so I’m forever grateful,” Wagner said.
It’s been quite an eventful season for the veteran linebacker, despite LA’s struggles.
Earlier in the fall, he took out a protestor that ran onto the field in San Francisco.
Wagner Will Have to Control Emotions
He didn’t deny that returning to Seattle will bring a lot of emotions that he’ll have to control. But he claims he’ll be ready for the challenge.
“It’s a lot of emotions, man, to be honest. But I’m a master of my emotions. It’s going into a stadium I’ve been in thousands of times, played in hundreds of times, and to be in a position to spoil their playoff hopes is always a good position, something worth playing for. It will be fun to go back there, be back in front of those fans,” Wagner said.
The Rams have long been eliminated from playoff contention, so playing spoiler against his old team is the best he can hope for.
Despite the poor record, he admitted he’d like to talk some trash to the other side of the field.
“I’m pretty sure you’ve played your family before in basketball, golf or whatever,” Wagner said. “When you play your friend, y’all might talk a little trash. It is what it is, but when you’re playing your family member that knows your deepest, darkest secrets and knows exactly what to say to you to make you feel a certain type of way, and also you’re playing the organization that you feel gave up on you, it was warranted, to be honest.”
He certainly has a point, and it’s understandable to feel frustration about the way his time there ended.
The NFL is often a cold, hard business, in ways that other sports simply aren’t. Wagner has shown this year he still has some good years left, but teams often don’t want to take that risk. Especially once a player passes 30.
But he still has a chance to get some revenge on his old team, and with some extra motivation, who knows how much havoc he can wreak.