Bobby Wagner is one of the best linebackers in the NFL, which is why he just signed a huge contract extension with the Seattle Seahawks for three years and $54 million, which guarantees the perennial All-Pro $40.2 million, per The Seattle Times. He also happens to be just one of four players rated as a 99 overall in the latest edition of Madden NFL 20, meaning he’s looked at as the best at his position — which is really saying something considering the amount of talented defenders in the league today.
While the Hawks gave Bobby Wagner the richest deal ever for an inside linebacker, it was actually negotiated by the player himself, not some agent who was trying to sell the credentials of his client. That’s right, like other athletes have done in the past, Wagner represented himself during the process, and it paid off in the biggest way possible. Considering Wagner didn’t have an agent, the linebacker leaned on the advice of successful people to help get advice, with Michael Jordan being one of those he spoke with.
Wagner, who is part of MJ’s Jordan Brand team and endorses the products, wanted to pick the GOAT‘s brain on how to negotiate such a lucrative deal, and the Seahawks’ linebacker described the advice the six-time NBA champ told him during a recent piece for ESPN.
“We got a chance to really sit down and just have a conversation with him,” Wagner said, via ESPN. “We talked about his playing days, talked about his mindset — tried to steal some of his mindset — talked about training, talked about a bunch of different things. I asked him how he would feel if one of the players came and tried to negotiate a deal. What would be different? How would he see it? We just talked about a lot. It’s just really cool to have a guy like that in your corner and have a guy like that willing to take the time to speak to you and take the time to give you that knowledge, pass the knowledge down. I felt like I could have asked him anything.”
That’s a pretty awesome resource for Bobby Wagner to have at his disposal, isn’t it? I mean, Jordan is a billionaire who owns the Charlotte Hornets, so to get his perspective on how he would approach a player of his negotiating a new contract had to be invaluable to the linebacker.
As for why Wagner decided to go against hiring an agent, it was simply to help him grow as a person, while also hearing real feedback from the Seahawks without being filtered through somebody else.
“My goal was to challenge myself and if anything I want players to leave wanting to educate themselves,” Wagner said. “Whether they want to do it themselves or have an agent, no matter what the situation is, you got to know the business and you got to educate yourself to what’s in your contract, how they got there, how they got to those numbers.
“I feel like there’s two negotiations: there’s one between the GM and the agent and there’s the agent and the player, because you’re not in that room. You might miss some things that’s not being talked about. My thing is, how I looked at it, I didn’t want them to say all the bad stuff to the agent, I wanted them to say it to my face. I could take it.”
Bobby Wagner is still in the prime of his career, has a mentor in Michael Jordan, and has a new contract that will pay him millions of dollars, so life seems to be pretty good for the linebacker right now. And the fact that he tested himself by negotiating the deal for himself has to be rewarding for him, since it’s not common for an athlete to do.
With Jordan Brand recently snagging Zion Williamson as its latest athlete endorser, the fact that Jordan is just a phone call away to help in different ways bodes well for adding more talented athletes to the company’s roster.