New Los Angeles Rams linebacker Bobby Wagner knows he’s on the back nine of his playing career. He also knows what he wants to do once his playing career is over.
Wagner, who turns 32 in June, shared in an interview with CNBC’s Jabari Young in April that he’s aiming to become a president of an NFL team once his playing days are over.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, May 18th, Wagner elaborated on how his new team is helping him in trying to reach his post-career goals.
Wagner Is Getting Help From the Rams on How To Run a Team
After playing the first 10 years of his NFL career with the Seahawks, Wagner decided to head home to Los Angeles this offseason after Seattle released him in March. He signed a five-year, $65 million deal in hopes of helping the Rams repeat as Super Bowl champions.
While Wagner is focused on bringing whatever he can to help the Rams on the field, his new team is also helping him off the field. Wagner revealed that members of the Los Angeles organization are assisting him in his post-playing career goals.
“This is one of the organizations that’s been run really, really well for a very long time. The thing I think is pretty cool about this place is – I think everybody probably read the same article you read – they all have extended their hand and expressed that they wanted to help me reach that goal,” Wagner said. “I think that’s really cool to have an organization to understand that while I’m here to play football, it obviously doesn’t last forever. For them to want to help me in any way they can, to help me accomplish that goal, I think is pretty cool.
“I’ve already been doing that. Whenever I’ve been in LA I’ve been trying to meet with as many people as I can. Just being out here allows me to do that a little bit more. Obviously, the focus is always on football, but after 10 years, I think I’ve found a good balance.”
Former athletes have started to enter leadership roles with teams in major sports leagues in recent years. Michael Jordan became the majority owner of the Charlotte Hornets in 2010, Magic Johnson is part of the Dodgers’ ownership group, and Derek Jeter was the CEO of the Marlins for four seasons before resigning in February.
The NFL though hasn’t seen many players or minorities hold leadership roles with teams. Jason Wright, a seven-year pro, became the first Black president of a team when the Washington Commanders hired him in 2020. Sashi Brown became the second when the Ravens hired him in February.
Wagner Aims to Learn Before Becoming Leader for the Rams
Wagner is certainly one of the most accomplished active players in the NFL. The 10-year vet’s been named to an All-Pro team and a Pro Bowler eight times. He was also a catalyst for the Seahawks’ “Legion of Boom” defense, which won the Super Bowl in 2013.
Even though Wagner appears like he would be a natural leader no matter where he goes, he still wants to learn more about the Rams’ operation before he enters that role.
“I’m pretty intentional,” Wagner told reporters. “I’m definitely coming in here and being myself. I also understand that they have a way of going about things. In order to lead, you’ve got to learn how they do things before you jump in. That’s been my thing, just trying to learn how everything operates. Then I’ll start to use some of my experience to kind of pass to guys. Once you build that trust off the field, on the field becomes easy.”