Bobby Wagner thinks the Seahawks have all the pieces in place for another postseason run in 2019 ... if they re-sign K.J. Wright.
ARLINGTON, Texas — Disappointed as the Seahawks were by their 24-22 wild-card playoff defeat to Dallas, middle linebacker Bobby Wagner said he thinks Seattle has all it needs to get right back to the postesason next year.
“Some good, some bad,’’ Wagner said of what he thought of the 2018 season. “A lot of growth. This is something we can definitely build on.’’
Then he added one requirement — “As long as we bring K.J. (Wright) back,” Wagner said.
That remains one of the biggest of a slew of personnel questions for Seattle now that the season is over — whether Wright, a mainstay of the Seattle defense since 2011, will return.
He is an unrestricted free agent and turns 30 in July and battled through a knee injury this year that limited him to five regular season games.
His age and the way the team has willingly moved on from a number of veterans over the last few years has left Wright’s status uncertain.
Wagner, though, said he thinks it should be a no-brainer that Seattle brings Wright back, and he made an impassioned plea for the team to re-sign Wright.
“I don’t know (if Wright will be back),’’ said Wagner, who has teamed with Wright as Seattle’s inside linebacking duo since 2013. “It’s a crazy business so you know I’ve watched a lot of guys leave last year so I don’t know.
“The right thing to do will be to bring him back. He’s been an amazing teammate, amazing person in the community. He helps young guys. Never held out. Did everything right. Sounds to me like a guy that you should pay.’’
Wagner’s future may also come up for discussion this offseason as he can be a free agent following the 2019 season. The Seahawks have typically tried to re-sign their core players before they can hit free agency, and the team could try to extend Wagner this offseason.
Wagner, who was just named a first team All-Pro pick for a third straight year, has hinted that how the team handles Wright could impact his own negotiations.
Wagner said Wright proved on Saturday what he means to the Seahawks when he’s fully healthy.
Wright had nine tackles and also had an interception in the end zone in the fourth quarter that kept Seattle in the game.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll agreed that Wright’s return to full health proved vital.
“Having K.J. back is so valuable to us,’’ Carroll said. “He’s such a great player and a great leader and his mentality, he gives other people strength just being around him. He’s unbelievably valuable in that regard.’’
Wright talked to wave after wave of reporters, and while the loss was enough to leave him subdued, he also understood clearly that there’s a chance he will won’t be a Seahawk again in the future.
“I head into free agency,” Wright said. “We will see how that goes. I want to be here. I would love to be here. I love playing for this team, with Bobby. I believe it would be in the team’s best interest if I stayed here.”