For the first time in his decade-long career, Bobby Wagner is a free agent. The longtime Seahawks’ linebacker was drafted by Seattle in 2012 and has been with them ever since. The Seahawks saved $16.6M by letting him walk but his absence leaves a massive hole in the middle of this defense. But, the Seahawks are in full rebuild mode and need that money. That just leaves one question left in regards to Wagner: Where he will be signing in the offseason?
At the age of 31, he is still putting up strong numbers and had 170 combined tackles and five pass deflections in 2021. So, there will be no shortage of attention for Wagner. With that in mind, here are the three best fits for Wagner in the 2022 free-agent market.
The Ravens have built a franchise on strong defense and Wagner fits into that mold perfectly. While Baltimore is not known for its big free-agent signings, it would behoove them to make a run at Wagner. Wagner could serve as a mentor to young linebacker talents Patrick Queen and Malik Harrison. They have each shown flashes but need some on-field mentoring to take the next step. Overall, the defense had trouble finishing tackles and was often caught with their pants down in the middle of the field. Wagner would help solve those issues and put the Ravens back into contention in the AFC North.
New England Patriots
I am adding the Patriots here despite their plan to get young and fast this offseason. For starters, Matthew Judon has already reached out to his friend via Twitter following the news that Seattle was blowing up the roster. The Patriots lack the ability to stop the top-tier offenses in the league and Wagner would go a long way to remedy that. New England is also losing Dont’a Hightower and Ja’Whaun Bently to free agency and will need to fill those spots somehow. The Patriots have around $11.5M in cap space available so would need to shuffle some things around to sign Wagner. But he would be well worth it.
Los Angeles Rams
Rounding out the three contenders is the reigning Super Bowl champions. The Rams have one of the best defenses in the league, but could use an upgrade at linebacker. According to Ian Rapoport, the entire NFC West is interested in signing Wagner. But I think the Rams are the most attractive option as they are set up to win now. Obviously. It is crazy to think that the Rams could somehow get that much better but signing Wagner would fill the only hole they have left on defense.