The Los Angeles Rams are going to meet up with Bobby Wagner and the six-time All-Pro middle linebacker could soon be added to the defense. Only a week or so after losing Von Miller in free agency to the Buffalo Bills, the Rams might feature a different future Hall of Famer playing in between Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey.
The #Rams are loading up again? Sources say six-time All-Pro LB Bobby Wagner is visiting them and there is mutual interest in doing a deal. A potential huge defensive addition.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 23, 2022
The Seattle Seahawks released Wagner to save $16.6 million against the 2022 salary cap, moments after trading Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos. Wagner, 31, hasn’t missed the Pro Bowl since 2013 and he led the NFL in tackles in 2016 and 2019. He’s also been an iron man of sorts, missing only three games over the last seven seasons.
The Rams have Ernest Jones starting in the middle but as I’ve mentioned in the past, not a lot of depth otherwise. Travin Howard has missed two of his four potential NFL seasons and Christian Rozeboom is the only depth. Adding Wagner would change the outlook for the group considerably.
Should the Rams let Wagner leave without a contract?
If the Rams sign Wagner, it will not count against their 2023 compensatory pick formula because he was released by the Seahawks and not coming off of an expiring contract. That’s one reason to believe that L.A. is more interested than usual in this particular veteran player.
Wagner would also bring with him intimate knowledge of a division opponent, albeit one that the Rams have dominated for almost a decade anyway.
There haven’t been many rumors with regards to Wagner since his release, other than some flirting with the Dallas Cowboys. That’s another reason to think that Wagner will be motivated to get a contract completed with the Rams. What is he worth? The answer to that question is probably why Wagner has remained a free agent: He believes he’s “Bobby Wagner” and teams might believe that he’s “Former All-Pro Bobby Wagner.”
Wagner recorded 170 tackles, one interception, one forced fumble, one sack in 2021 and was released by Seattle for cap purposes. But also these moves are always tied to performance in some way.
Premier inside linebackers like Darius Leonard and Fred Warner are getting $19 million per season, but Wagner’s next contract might carry a price tag closer to the $12.5 million of Lavonte David. That is just a guess. Wagner might also be accepting of a three-year contract that is actually a two-year contract, which could settle him into a deal that looks like this: three-years, $40 million, $25.5 million guaranteed.
It sounds like the Rams are very interested in Wagner. It makes sense that Wagner would be interested in playing for a Super Bowl champion roster in L.A., given that few other teams seem to be breaking his door down. Not that there aren’t a lot of teams interested, but when it comes to the means, the need, and being a contender, that list gets cut down dramatically.
Could Wagner be on the Rams within the next 48 hours?