Los Angeles Rams linebacker Bobby Wagner told reporters Wednesday that he’s excited for the team’s Week 18 matchup in Seattle against the Seahawks, his old team. Wagner said that he felt as though the Seahawks “gave up” on him before his release in March.

“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.”

Officials within the Seahawks organization, including GM John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll, admitted to mishandling Wagner’s release. Though the team informed him before ESPN’s Adam Schefter broke the news, the linebacker reportedly knew for weeks that the organization was favoring other players at his position.

“I wish I could have handled things better in that regard from a communication standpoint,” Schneider said in March. “I owe it to him. The organization owes it to him.”


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Soon after his release, Wagner signed a five-year, $65 million contract with the Rams, and though the team has struggled in 2022, he has become a key contributor on defense. With 133 tackles, he leads the team in the category and ranks 14th in the league overall.

With an 8-8 record going into Week 18, the Seahawks can advance to the playoffs with a win over the Rams, who have been statistically eliminated from contention for weeks. But for Wagner, spoiling his old team’s postseason chances is sufficient motivation.

“It’s a lot of emotions, man, to be honest,” Wagner said. “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.”

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