Wagner’s release was first reported by ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter on the afternoon of Thursday, February 23, which included brief details on why and where Wagner hopes to go next.
“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,” Schefter posted.
But one of the most prominent reactions on the Rams’ side came from one other Pro Bowler who’s facing his own nebulous future in the “Rams House” in cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who shared this reaction to Wagner parting ways with the Rams:
“I embrace & appreciate every moment now a days forreal because I never know what the future holds. It was a real deal dream come true to play on the same defense as you @Bwagz! Much love & respect! Excited for the next chapter for you!” Ramsey tweeted.
Others Give Strong Reactions to News Involving Wagner
Wagner and the Rams severing ties officially ends their five-year deal that paid the Super Bowl winner up to $65 million.
And in Wagner’s official lone season as a Ram, he was one of the few 17-game starters in what was an injury ravaged season for the Rams — and went on to deliver 140 tackles, snatched two interceptions and delivered a career-high six sacks while playing in an odd man scheme with Raheem Morris running the defense.
Outside of Ramsey, other reactions poured in including from those who believe Wagner has a lot more to give on the football field.
“Bobby Wagner has been an All-Pro selection for 9 straight seasons. He never misses games, never misses a snap, is one of the smartest players in the league, one of the best leaders in the league, one of the best tacklers in the league. A legit difference maker for a contender,” said ESPN NFL insider Field Yates.
Locally, Gary Klein of the L.A. Times said “Wagner was ultimate pro in his one season with the team.”
Rams insider Jourdan Rodrigue not only reported that conversations between Wagner and the Rams “were really positive” through a source she spoke with, but Wagner even donated money to cover the funeral expenses of a part-time Rams staffer who lost a family member — which showed the professionalism Wagner displayed in his one season with the Rams.
Where to Now? One Contender has Already Surfaced
The move to release Wagner officially clears up $5 million in cap space. Wagner is now nearing his mid-30s and seeking a second Super Bowl title.
And already, one team has been mentioned by Dallas Morning News reporter Michael Gehlken.
“Cowboys had interest in Bobby Wagner when he was last a free agent; DC [defensive coordinator] Dan Quinn spoke with him directly about potential reunion from time in Seattle. Wagner becomes option at position where Cowboys have three impending free agents (Leighton Vander Esch, Anthony Barr and Luke Gifford),” Gehlken revealed. He included how Dallas couldn’t fork the money to land Wagner but with former Cowboy Jaylon Smith “off the books” for 2023, it helps Dallas to re-pursue Wagner.
But as for other possibilities, fans are already beginning thoughts of Wagner joining this past season’s NFC champions. The Philadelphia Eagles already have inside linebacker T.J. Edwards as an unrestricted free agent along with other notable defenders from the 2022 run including C.J. Gardner Johnson, Fletcher Cox and former Ram Ndamukong Suh. Edwards’ pending future could swing the door open for Wagner.
Then there’s the AFC runner ups the Cincinnati Bengals who have three linebacker free agents — but the biggest one is UFA Germaine Pratt. The inside linebacker delivered career-highs with 99 tackles and six tackles for a loss.
A dark horse pick, though one with Rams representation, is the Detroit Lions. Detroit has five free agent linebackers including breakout Alex Anzalone as a UFA. Ramsey is already getting courted by Pro Bowl wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown. Perhaps the Lions could do some courting for Wagner.