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Rams sign Bobby Wagner to five-year deal

Wagner stays in the NFC West after being released by the Seattle Seahawks

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams are signing veteran free agent Bobby Wagner, per a team announcement on Thursday afternoon.

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.

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.

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.