Bobby Wagner: Don't sleep on Seahawks' defense

The Seattle Seahawks lost plenty of defensive firepower during the offseason.

Gone are cornerback Richard Sherman, defensive end Michael Bennett, defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson and defensive end Cliff Avril, and their absences have the Seahawks in position to fill holes.

Linebacker Bobby Wagner, however, doesn't view the 2018 season as a rebuilding process and he believes the Seahawks still have a foundation to succeed.

"For me, I think a lot of people are sleeping on the talent that we have in the room," Wagner said during a guest appearance on 710 ESPN Seattle Monday morning. "A lot of people are saying it's a fresh start. No, it's just kind of that mentality. We had guys that left for whatever reason and it's the next-guy-up mentality."

While it remains unclear if strong safety Kam Chancellor returns from a neck injury, the Seattle defense still has a nucleus of Wagner, defensive end Frank Clark and free safety Earl Thomas, among others, returning in 2018.

But when it comes to Thomas, the three-time All-Pro remains absent from the voluntary portion of the offseason workout program. Thomas, who enters the final year of his contract and will earn a base salary of $8.5 million, has been the subject of trade speculation throughout the offseason.

The Seahawks planned for OTAs as if Thomas would not attend, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Monday afternoon. Pelissero adds there are no current negotiations on Thomas' contract and none are currently planned.

Meanwhile, it appears there won't be animosity for Thomas as the free safety navigates the business side of football. Wagner made it a point to mention his teammates before signing off the radio show.

"Before we get off, I would like to take this time to shout out to Earl Thomas," Wagner said. "I think he's an amazing player, he's an amazing person, he's a Hall of Famer. And just let him know that we're over here and we're wishing for the best in that situation and we're thinking about him. And I just want him to know that."

Regardless how Wagner feels about the current talent level in Seattle, there is little doubt the Seahawks need Thomas on the field.

Thomas is widely regarded as the top free safety in the game and without him in the mix, the outside talk of a potential rebuilding year in Seattle could only get louder.

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