The Los Angeles Rams are signing veteran free agent Bobby Wagner, per a team announcement on Thursday afternoon.
Welcome home, @Bwagz!! pic.twitter.com/zC1THHLcIq— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) March 31, 2022
The middle linebacker has reportedly earned a 5-yr, $50M contract to remain in the NFC West. Wagner will now face the Seattle Seahawks - his former team in which he had spent the last 10 seasons prior to being released - twice a year for the foreseeable future.
Former Seahawks’ Pro-Bowl linebacker Bobby Wagner is signing a five-year, $50 million deal worth up to $65 million with the Los Angeles Rams, per league sources. Wagner is staying in the NFC West.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 31, 2022
Signing Wagner to such a large deal is a departure from the Rams’ typical team building approach to the inside linebacker position. In recent years the team has spent later round draft selections on Micah Kiser and Ernest Jones. They also started undrafted free agent Troy Reeder for multiple seasons.
But LA does not hesitate to make a splash when star players become available - and Wagner now joins a defense that features the likes of Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey, Leonard Floyd, and Jordan Fuller.
Jones is a promising young player for Los Angeles, and joining him with Wagner should create a formidable duo in the middle of the defense. With division rivals like the Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers that lean heavily on the running game, this could be a significant boost for the Rams in the divisional race.
For weeks, the Rams were quite public about their interest in Wagner, who they believe can align with rising star ILB Ernest Jones and help keep them multiple on the back end. Wagner can do everything and will be a day-1 leadership add as well. https://t.co/xMzY9wxx4h— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) March 31, 2022
It remains to be seen how much the veteran has left in the tank, but the Rams aren’t interested in building for the future - they are hoping to repeat as Super Bowl champs for the first time since 2005.