The Philadelphia Eagles are considered one of the “top” landing spots for a big-name free agent.
As mentioned by CBS Sports’ Bryan DeArdo, the Eagles could be an ideal destination for eight-time Pro Bowl linebacker Bobby Wagner. The Los Angeles Rams are moving on from Wagner after just one season, which means the 32-year-old linebacker will be a free agent. DeArdo considers the Eagles one of the top five destinations for Wagner, listing them at No. 2 behind the Cincinnati Bengals.
“Another title contender that could use Wagner in the middle of its defense,” DeArdo says of Philadelphia. “The Eagles came up just short of winning their second title in six years after allowing 38 points to Patrick Mahomes and Co. in the Super Bowl. Wagner’s presence would surely make an impact on what is already a solid defense.”
Eagles’ Salary Cap Situation Could Prevent Bobby Wagner Signing
While the Eagles would make perfect sense from a personnel standpoint, DeArdo warns that they may not be able to sign Wagner due to their salary cap situation.
“Money, however, is once again an issue in this scenario,” says DeArdo. “Unless the Eagles shed significant cap space, they likely don’t have the means to sign a free agent of Wagner’s caliber.”
Philadelphia is not in a great financial situation entering the offseason. According to Spotrac, the Eagles are a little under $3 million over the cap, ranking 20th in the league.
The Eagles will have eight starters from their defensive unit hitting free agency along with starting running back Miles Sanders. That’s not even mentioning how Philadelphia will likely look into signing quarterback Jalen Hurts to a massive contract extension that could pay him $50 million annually.
As reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Thursday, February 23, the Rams and Wagner are mutually agreeing to part ways due to their salary cap situation and Wagner’s desire to play for a winning team.
“Rams and nine-time All-Pro LB Bobby Wagner mutually agreed Thursday to part ways, sources tells ESPN,” says Schefter. “Rams needs more cap space and Wagner wants to win. He will now be a notable part of this year’s free-agent class.”
Bobby Wagner Remains Elite Linebacker at Age 32
Wagner had signed a five-year, $50 million contract last offseason following his release from the Seattle Seahawks. Despite playing on a porous defense — Los Angeles ranked 21st in the league in points allowed per game — and a 5-12 team, Wagner ranked as the best inside linebacker in the league last season, according to Pro Football Focus.
The veteran linebacker posted a 90.7 defensive grade last season, the top mark of any player at his best position. In fact, it was the third-highest mark of his career and his highest since the 2018 season.
There’s little doubt that Wagner remains an elite linebacker at his advanced age. There’s also little doubt that Wagner could be the missing piece that gives the Eagles an advantage over the Kansas City Chiefs. Philadelphia fell short in their Super Bowl loss to Kansas City after allowing 38 points. The Eagles became the first team in Super Bowl history to lose after scoring 35 points in the big game.
Philadelphia will likely show interest in the veteran free agent. The question is, will Wagner take less than his market value in order to play for a Super Bowl-contending team such as the Eagles?