Insider Reveals the Dilemma in Rams Signing Bobby Wagner

Bobby Wagner

Getty Bobby Wagner wraps his arms around George Kittle during their December 5, 2021 game.

There’s a financial road block involving the Los Angeles Rams in their pursuit of free agent linebacker Bobby Wagner.

The good news for members of the “Rams House” is that the Super Bowl champs “have legitimate interest” as longtime NFL insider Peter King wrote in his Monday, March 28 edition of “Football Morning in America.” And yes, there’s still competition from the Baltimore Ravens, as previously mentioned in this Heavy on Rams article, who are seeking to nab Wagner.

But King revealed the dilemma that involves the Rams: Money.

Asking Price May Need to be Lowered, King Reports

Here’s what King wrote in where things stand between the six-time All-Pro linebacker from the Rams’ division rival the Seattle Seahawks:

“Rams have legitimate interest, but not at Wagner’s price — he’s thought to be asking for about $11 million on a one-year deal. The 32-year-old linebacker is still playing very well, and he’d be a luxury item for the Super Bowl champs. If he wants to stay in the same division as the team that dropped him, Seattle, Wagner will have to recalibrate his asking price down. He may just find another team — Baltimore? Dallas? With more money available.”

As it stands in L.A., the Rams have this amount in salary cap room per Over The Cap: $8,823,530 — giving them the ninth least amount of cap space among the 32 teams. Wagner’s old team has $15,925,002 in cap room, giving them the most room among NFC West teams.

But the Rams have this slight edge over the Ravens: They have $420,548 more in the cap compared to their current competition to land Wagner as Baltimore has the least amount of cap room among AFC North teams.

Yet still, the Rams are in a situation where they’ll likely have to offer Wagner a lesser deal is they were to lure him in.

Can Wagner Still Play at a High Level Despite Age?

Whether if it’s the Rams or Ravens (or a surprise NFL suitor that may give Wagner what he wants), his next NFL employer will find this: He’s yet to miss a Pro Bowl nod since 2014.

The 6-foot, 242-pound Wagner has put together a streak of eight consecutive Pro Bowl appearances that has turned him into one of the league’s premier defenders and arguably, the best inside linebacker in the league. Here’s a list of notable accolades he’s accomplished per Pro Football Reference:

  • He’s put together two seasons of producing 10 tackles for a loss or more (10 in 2014, a career-best 13 in 2017).
  • He scored two touchdowns off of fumble recoveries in 2015.
  • During his Pro Bowl streak, Wagner has averaged more than 140 total tackles and more than 82 solo stops per season.
  • Last season, at age 31 and in an NFL campaign with one extra regular season game, Wagner snatched a career-best 170 tackles — which came in 16 starts.

Here’s a sample of what Wagner was able to do at 31 last season: He can still effectively shoot through gaps and blow plays up, like he did here on the Tennessee Titans’ Ryan Tannehill in a game that saw 20 tackles from Wagner.

And lastly, Wagner shows that his brain cells are still powerful on the field in reading plays as they happen:

It’s no secret that Wagner can deliver at a high level even in the latter part of his career. But the big question now becomes can he be brought in at a not-so-high value just to fit in inside the Rams’ facility.

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