The moment Bobby Wagner was officially parting ways with the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday, February 23, one of the first thoughts that surfaced was Wagner staying in the NFC West — and reuniting with his old team.
After all, Wagner spent a decade with the Seattle Seahawks and won his lone Super Bowl in the Pacific Northwest while becoming a pillar in that community. And the ‘Hawks are coming off a playoff run without him…which could qualify them as the contender Wagner is looking for in 2023. But Wagner one year ago was released by the organization, with general manager John Schneider helping make the gutsy decision there to sever ties with the perennial Pro Bowler.
So how does his former general manager feel now? Especially with Wagner hitting free agency? Schneider got asked that on Seattle Sports 710 on Thursday.
“He’s technically still on their roster so we won’t be able to speak to his agent for a minute or two, which is actually himself,’” Schneider said. “So, not sure that clears up anything.”
Schneider has clearly danced around the thought of a reunion with Wagner.
Schneider Unveils Offseason Plan
The Seahawks general manager of 13 years helped get Wagner into the league by drafting him out of Utah State in 2012.
Speaking of the draft, Schneider included in his radio interview that his focus is there for the Seahawks and not on free agency, including Wagner.
“We just got through 1,150 players in the last 10 to 12 days,” Schneider said. “So now we dwindle that to 300 on our front board which is [rounds] one through seven [before the NFL Scouting combine].”
Schneider adds this upcoming draft class “is a solid class with good depth.” The Seahawks hold nine draft picks including two in the first 20 selections and two second round options. Seattle is currently projected by many mock draft boards to take Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud as their first pick. However, some mock boards have Seattle pivoting to defense and either taking defensive tackle Calijah Kancey of Pittsburgh or edge rusher Will Anderson of Alabama.
Analyst Adds Past AFC West Pro Bowler as Possible Wagner Replacement Option
As for the Rams, who could they turn to now that Wagner is heading out? Will the franchise go younger at the position next to emerging third-year pro Ernest Jones? Or seek out a veteran?
While there are some early ideas for the Rams via free agency and the NFL Draft, Rams Wire on USA Today on Friday, February 24 offered this No. 1 suggestion to the Rams: Sign 2021 Pro Bowl linebacker Denzel Perryman. Rams Wire’s Cameron DaSilva wrote:
“Perryman spent the last two years with the Raiders, making the Pro Bowl in 2021 when he had 154 tackles. He’s a better run defender than coverage linebacker, which is what the Rams could use alongside Jones. At 30 years old, Perryman won’t command a big linebacker, even being two years removed from a Pro Bowl season.”
Perryman is indeed up in his years. Yet, the Rams added Wagner with the idea of shoring up their inside linebacker unit which dealt with injuries during their Super Bowl 56 run. Wagner gave the Rams a steadier presence inside. If the Rams want to stick with having an older veteran next to Jones, perhaps Perryman would be an option.