Jets Linked to Recently Released $50 Million All-Pro Veteran

Bobby Wagner, Seahawks

Getty Former Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner warming up ahead of an NFL game.

The New York Jets might be willing to go back to the well in 2023.

NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero revealed on Thursday, February 23 that the Los Angeles Rams plan on releasing linebacker Bobby Wagner.

Mike Garafolo added to that report saying the move won’t become official until the start of the new league year and on March 15 he will be “free” to sign with another team.

Last year when the Seattle Seahawks cut ties with Wagner, NFL Insider Jordan Schultz name-dropped the Jets as a team that had an interest in the talented Pro Bowler.

Jets Could Have Interest in Making Another Run at Bobby Wagner

If the Jets were interested in Wagner in 2022, it would make sense that they would still have interest in 2023.

The 32-year-old who will turn 33 before the start of next season is still playing at an elite level.

Wagner played and started in all 17 games this past season and delivered some elite PFF grades:

  • 90.7 overall
  • 91.1 run defense
  • 79.6 pass rush
  • 77.9 coverage

Since 2016 the former Utah State product has appeared in 112 out of 114 possible games. Quite frankly throughout his entire professional career, Wagner has been an incredibly durable player.

Beyond his attendance, Wagner has produced and has been heralded as one of, if not the best linebackers in all of football.

In 11 seasons Wagner has tallied over 1,523 tackles, 29.5 sacks, 13 interceptions, and has registered 65 pass deflections.

During that span of time, Wagner has been nominated for eight Pro Bowls, six first-team All-Pros, three more second-team All-Pros, has led the league in tackles twice, and won a championship in Super Bowl 48.

Speaking of that title that is where Wagner and Jets head coach Robert Saleh originally linked up.

The pair spent two seasons together from 2012 through 2013 before Saleh jumped ship to a new NFL opportunity that next year.

In 2023 they could have a chance to reunite.

Jets Have a Massive Need at Linebacker

Wagner was in the midst of a five-year $50 million contract before he was released by the Rams.

It’s unclear what exactly his price would be on the open market, but if the Jets can find some money under their couch cushions he could fill a huge void.

CJ Mosley is the only starter of the Jets’ three linebackers from last season that is still under contract.

Both Kwon Alexander and Quincy Williams are set to become unrestricted free agents once the new league year kicks off.

Alexander was a nice story last year but he’ll be seeking a pay raise after playing for relative pennies in 2022. Williams by all accounts had a breakout year and will also be seeking some big money for the first time in his NFL career.

The Jets already have a ton of money invested in Mosley so doubling down with another expensive linebacker in Wagner would be a unique strategy, but if anyone would do it would be the Jets.

Saleh has cut his teeth as a linebacker whisperer of sorts during his time both at the collegiate and professional levels.

Getting the chance to work with one of the two better linebacker prospects this league has seen over the last decade may be too tempting of an opportunity to pass up.

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