Bobby Wagner is staying in the NFC West but moving just a bit down south as he signed a five-year, $50 million deal that could be worth as much as $65 million with the Los Angeles Rams, as first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Thursday.
The 31-year-old future Hall-of-Famer had spent all 10 of his pro seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, but was cut earlier this month so the rebuilding team could save roughly $16 million in cap space.
An eight-time Pro Bowler, Wagner is a Seahawks icon having helped transform its defense in the middle of last decade into the “Legion of Boom.” He’s recorded at least 100 tackles in each of his 10 seasons, leading the NFL twice with 167 in 2016 and 159 in 2019, and is leaps and bounds ahead at the top of the Seahawks’ all-time time tackles list.
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His move to Los Angeles ensures that he’ll be able to terrorize his old team at least twice a season for the next half-decade while fortifying the team’s middle-linebacking situation that looked suspect this offseason. He immediately slots into the No. 1 right inside linebacker spot next to Ernest Jones, who put together a strong rookie campaign with the Rams.
The defending Super Bowl champions had already lost out on veteran pass rusher Von Miller, who opted to sign with the Buffalo Bills earlier this month after the Rams acquired his expiring contract from the Denver Broncos midway through the 2021 season.
Speculation about Wagner’s future was thrown into overdrive earlier on Thursday when New England Patriots Pro Bowl linebacker Matthew Judon tweeted that Wagner had signed with his team. It turned out to be hopeful speculation from a well-known recruiter who missed out on his latest free-agent target.