Bobby Wagner must have seen the fun Von Miller had last season, joining forces with the Los Angeles Rams, then proceeding to win the second Super Bowl trophy in his career. Now, it appears the eight-time Pro Bowl linebacker wants to beat up on the team he played 10 seasons with twice per year.
While he had interest from other teams such as the Dallas Cowboys and Baltimore Ravens since being released from the Seattle Seahawks, Wagner has decided to stick it to his former team by signing with the defending champions.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Wagner is signing a five-year, $50 million contract to stay in the NFC West. The deal could be worth as much as $65 million if certain incentives are met.
It’s yet another great move for a team seemingly all-in on repeating their Super Bowl quest once again during the 2022-23 season. This follows the signing of Allen Robinson while extending their new Lombardi-winning quarterback Matthew Stafford for another four seasons.
Still, having a chance to win two consecutive league championships doesn’t come often in the NFL. General manager Les Snead can’t afford to suddenly go back to celebrating the wins from the season prior, he still needs to make a few moves aimed at keeping their championship window open for as long as possible.
Here are three moves the Rams should make next now that they’ve landed Bobby Wagner in free agency.
After Bobby Wagner signing, Rams should bring Odell Beckham Jr. back
Although he’s a free agent, the Los Angeles Rams haven’t hidden their desire to retain Odell Beckham Jr. They realized how much of an instant impact OBJ had throughout the locker room and on the field, where the receiver tallied 316 receiving yards in the playoffs.
Everyone saw Beckham’s storybook season end in an unfortunate way when he tore his ACL in the Super Bowl, but even that small sample size of 24 snaps in the biggest game of his career might be enough for him to dream of getting back to the biggest stage. He knows his best opportunity to do so is in L.A. and he’s already beloved there. Outside of possibly receiving a larger role in a differently competitive atmosphere, OBJ going back to the Rams makes just makes sense.
Sign Aaron Donald to an extension that ends all retirement talk
Adding Bobby Wagner should only make Aaron Donald’s job easier going forward, but that doesn’t take away from the individual carnage the defensive tackle causes. While it would be hard to criticize the Rams for securing their QB long-term first, it’s a bit surprising they chose to do so before addressing Donald’s contract. He’s hinted about wanting a much larger salary, and after winning three Defensive Player of the Year awards, considering the stats Donald puts up, pay the man whatever he wants.
- Current Aaron Donald contract: $9.25M base salary, $8M signing bonus, cap hit of $26.7M
Locked in through 2024, it’s not hard to see why the Rams aren’t in a rush to extend or renegotiate Donald once again, but sometimes teams need to do whatever it takes to keep their best player happy, and with the retirement rumors that sprang up on the day of the Super Bowl, the Rams probably should cave to Donald’s demands, whatever they may be.
Extend Cooper Kupp now
Unlike Aaron Donald, Cooper Kupp is only under contract through 2023. Considering he’s Stafford’s top pass-catching option and just led the NFL in all three major receiving categories, extending Kupp should be a top priority for the Rams.
The longer they wait, the more Kupp’s asking price goes up. Sure, he’s coming off his best season, so the Rams would be “buying high” in a sense, but he also helped propel their offense to the Super Bowl. Probably not a bad idea to pay him among the league’s best, which now is as high as $30 million per season after Tyreek Hill’s new deal. But what about next year? How expensive will Kupp be then? $35 million per season? Better sign Kupp now.