When the Seattle Seahawks released eight-time Pro Bowl linebacker Bobby Wagner earlier in the offseason, it threw the NFL world for a loop.
Wagner’s release came mere hours after Seattle traded franchise quarterback Russell Wilson and seemed to initiate a new era in the Pacific Northwest.
Meanwhile, it became apparent that all three NFC West teams had interest in Bobby Wagner. That made sense given that they’ve gone up against him two times per season since he entered the league in 2012.
This included the defending champion Los Angeles Rams, who are now reportedly visiting with Wagner. According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, both sides seem intent on getting a deal done. Below, we look at three reasons why this makes perfect sense.
Los Angeles Rams are not going to break from their all-in mentality
Earlier in March, Los Angeles signed Pro Bowl wide receiver Allen Robinson away from the Chicago Bears. It was a shocking move given the team’s surplus of talent at wide receiver. It also represented general manager Les Snead re-routing resources after Von Miller opted to sign with the Buffalo Bills.
What’s the point here? These Rams have proven over and over again that their all-in mentality has worked to a T. From trading for Matthew Stafford and Jalen Ramsey to signing big-time free agents, this is one of the reasons Los Angeles is the defending Super Bowl champions. Signing Bobby Wagner would be the latest example.
Bobby Wagner is a perfect fit in Los Angeles
One of the only issues for the Rams last season was coverage against tight ends. Players at this position caught a resounding 72% of their targets against Los Angeles. While boasting upside, former third-round pick Ernest Jones struggled in this regard as a rookie (74.4% completion against).
Sure Wagner is not the player he once was. That’s magnified by his own struggles in coverage last season (97.9 QB rating allowed). But he is a defensive play-caller and is one season removed from being one of the better coverage backers in the game. That can’t be lost on this.
Bobby Wagner allows Los Angeles Rams to take it slow with youngsters
We spoke on Jones above. He might need another season of seasoning before taking over as the Rams’s defensive play-caller. Even if Jones proves he’s ready to be a full-time starter, the idea of Troy Reeder taking on a backup role could make sense. the former undrafted free agent gave up an 81% completion mark last season.
Signing Bobby Wagner would also take some of the pressure of Los Angeles’ safety group after the team was forced into using a previously retired Eric Weddle in that role a season ago. It just makes too much sense for Les Snead and Co.