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Seahawks release Bobby Wagner: Could Rams steal division rival linebacker?

With Von Miller likely going back to the Broncos, the Rams could use another veteran leader on the defense

Los Angeles Rams v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Les Snead calls it “The Bobby Wagner rule.” On Tuesday, Snead got his second opportunity to potentially land Bobby Wagner on the Los Angeles Rams, as the Seattle Seahawks are reportedly releasing the star linebacker in a cost-savings move.

The news comes hours after the report that the Seahawks are trading Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos, and 10 years after Seattle selected Wagner on day two of the 2012 NFL Draft. Snead has always deeply regretted not drafting Wagner that day:

“I call it the ‘Bobby Wagner Rule. There’s a lot of ways to carve a draft strategy … but the ‘Bobby Wagner Rule’ would be, if a player falls to you and you really want that human being, don’t get cute and don’t worry about those extra draft picks,” he said. “Just take that human being and the rest will take care of itself. Some of the best lessons in this business are learned the hard way.”

It looks increasingly likely that Von Miller will be a half-season Super Bowl rental for the Rams and return to the Broncos, joining Wilson in the AFC West. Though Wagner is a middle linebacker and Miller an edge player, Los Angeles will have two voids if they lose the latter in free agency:

  • Money to spend that would have gone to Von
  • A veteran superstar leader between Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey

The Rams currently have Ernest Jones slated to start at one of their middle linebacker positions, but nobody next to him. They could retain one of Travin Howard or Troy Reeder, both are restricted free agents. Wagner would be an upgrade over either entering next season.

Wagner missed one game in 2021, but had only missed two games total over the previous six seasons and is a reliable presence in the middle: 170 tackles, one interception, five batted passes in 2021. He is on the decline, but at 31 he is also two years younger than Miller.

Should Snead look back to the Bobby Wagner rule or focus on other needs?