NFL teams have begun to make their off-season roster moves less than two weeks removed from the Super Bowl, and Bobby Wagner, one of the league’s top linebackers over the last decade, will be hitting the open market this Spring.
According to reports, Wagner and the Los Angeles Rams agreed to part ways on Thursday. The team is in cost-cutting mode with their current cap figure nearly $14 million over the limit, and Wagner’s departure will save them at least a little bit of cash. His dead cap hit will be $7.5 million, saving the team just $1.5 million, a figure that could jump to $8 million if they designate him as a post-June 1st release.
Rams, All-Pro Linebacker Bobby Wagner To Part Ways
There is going to be a team that will be lucky to have him on the roster. Despite his age, Wagner was one of the top linebackers in all of football last year, starting all 17 games and notching a career-high 6 sacks to go along with 140 tackles and 2 interceptions. His accomplishments earned him Second Team All-Pro honors, the 9th straight year that he has been named to an All-Pro team. Pro Football Focus rated Wagner as the top linebacker in the NFL last season.
Rams and nine-time All-Pro LB Bobby Wagner mutually agreed Thursday to part ways, sources tells ESPN.
Rams needs more cap space and Wagner wants to win. He will now be a notable part of this year’s free-agent class. pic.twitter.com/1A3KvudOhj
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 23, 2023
Where will Wagner end up? There will be plenty of teams bidding for his services, and he doesn’t have to chase any rings having already been a Super Bowl champion. Who will be willing to pony up the cash? His last contract was scheduled to pay out roughly $10 million per season, a number which he has outplayed while being in his early 30s. But given his performance from this season and his career body of work as a whole, there could be.a bidding war for the All-Pro linebacker.
Wagner has spent the entirety of his career in the NFC West. He was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in 2012 where he became a part of a historically dominant defense that led the team to back-to-back Super Bowls, and led the NFL in tackles in both 2016 and 2019.
He immediately becomes one of the best available free agent linebackers for the off-season, joining guys like Lavonte David and Tremaine Edmunds. The latter is younger, and teams could go after fresh legs rather than for the guys in their 30s, but don’t be surprised if Bobby Wagner inks a one or two-year deal that has a higher annual average than any of his 2023 free agent counterparts.