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Bobby Wagner signs four-year extension

A day after rewarding Russell Wilson with the richest contract in franchise history, the Seahawks turned their attention to their quarterback on defense, agreeing to a four-year $43 million dollar contract with Bobby Wagner, making him the NFL's highest paid middle linebacker.

Head coach Pete Carroll told reporters Friday that the Seahawks were "not finished" after it had been announced that the club had come to a shiny new deal with quarterback Russell Wilson.

Saturday night the Seahawks proved him right as the team has come to an agreement with Bobby Wagner on a four-year, $43 million dollar extension that makes the Utah State product the highest paid middle linebacker in the NFL.

Despite missing five games due to turf toe last season, Wagner, 25, enjoyed a breakout campaign, earning his first Pro Bowl selection.

Wagner showed his value to Seattle's top-ranked defense with his return to the field in Week 11, helping spark the club's dramatic turnaround. Despite missing roughly a third of the season, Wagner finished just behind Wright (107) as the club's leading tackler with 104 stops.

When the Seahawks drafted Wagner out of Utah State in 2012, they knew he possessed terrific instincts and was a sound tackler. They also knew he was able to handle top competition given his defensive MVP performance at the Senior Bowl that year. Further, after he missed the Combine workout with a bout of pneumonia, the Seahawks and other savvy clubs knew he was a truly remarkable athlete, given a staggering Pro Day workout that was highlighted by a 4.46-second time in the 40-yard dash, a 39.5" vertical jump and a 11-0' broad jump.

Where Wagner took his game to a whole other level last year was developing greater explosiveness as a tackler. Previously, Wagner was known as a solid, wrap-up tackler. In 2014, he became a runaway freight-train, driving ball-carriers back with emphatic collisions without sacrificing technique.

Extending two of the club's brightest young stars in such a short amount of time is quite the accomplishment for Schneider, chief negotiator Matt Thomas and the Seahawks. There is still plenty of work to be done, however, as 32 other Seahawks - including 10 projected starters - are entering the final year of their contracts, including fellow Class of 2012 draft picks Bruce Irvin and J.R. Sweezy.

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