The Los Angeles Rams released Bobby Wagner on Thursday. This saved the Rams about $5.2 million but Wagner, the former Seattle Seahawks linebacker, will still cost the Rams $7.5 million in dead cap. Los Angeles must be really hurting since releasing Wagner doesn’t really save them that much money. The real out for LA with Wagner would have come after the 2023 season when he would only account for $3 million in dead cap.
And let’s be honest, Bobby Wagner was really good for the Rams in 2022. Both times the Seahawks faced Wagner they were seeing face-to-face a big reason why Seattle’s defense wasn’t as good as hoped this year. In two games against Seattle in 2022, Wagner had a combined 2 sacks, 14 tackles, an interception, and 4 tackles for loss. Seattle could have used a linebacker like Wagner this past year.
Overall in this past season, Wagner set a career-high for sacks with 6, a career second-best with 10 tackles for loss, and had double-digit (10) quarterback hits. He was named second-team All-Pro by the Associated Press. Wagner will be 33 years old when the 2023 season begins but he can still play at an extremely high level. Now he can sign with anyone he wants to and here are three key options for him.
Bobby Wagner free agent option No. 1: The Seahawks (of course!)
There are so many reasons to try to bring Wagner back to Seattle. One is that he is really good and would have been the best linebacker the Seahawks had in 2022. If he returns, he will be the best linebacker Seattle has in 2023. That is whether Jordyn Brooks returns healthy enough to play at the start of the season or not. Linebacker Cody Barton is a free agent and if the Seahawks think they have any chance of re-signing Wagner, Barton should be allowed to walk away without a second thought from Seattle.
Wagner’s numbers were higher in 2022 for the Rams than they probably will be for the Seahawks in 2023 simply because of the design of Los Angeles’ defense. But this doesn’t mean Wagner would be ineffective. Adding Wagner back to Seattle makes Seattle’s defense better. Period.
Wagner would be a veteran presence in the middle of the field for a Seahawks defense that is probably going to get younger and younger on defense. Is there any chance some rookie doesn’t respect Wagner’s thoughts in the locker room? Not a chance. General manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll should already be on the phone apologizing for how Wagner was let go last offseason and pay Wagner to come back.