After winning Super Bowl LVI, the Los Angeles Rams were a logical place for any veterans looking to compete for a championship.
The Rams have a knack for attracting star players and they landed another one in free agency when they agreed to terms with Bobby Wagner on a five-year deal. Wagner was cut by the Seattle Seahawks and decided to come back home to Southern California to help lead Los Angeles’s defense.
Despite his age, Wagner turned in one of his best seasons in 2022 and for his efforts was named an All-Pro member. However, his production couldn’t save the Rams who turned in the worst campaign for a reigning Super Bowl champion and were denied the opportunity to defend their title
Heading into the offseason, fans knew to expect major changes in Los Angeles but they couldn’t have foreseen the team and Wagner mutually parting ways. After the move was made official on Wednesday, Sean McVay expressed his gratitude for the linebacker via Stu Jackson of TheRams.com:
“Bobby is an outstanding competitor and a leader that elevates everyone around him,” Rams head coach Sean McVay said in a statement. “His perspective, steadiness, and consistency set an example for our players, coaches and staff. We are grateful for Bobby and his contributions to our organization during his time with the Rams.”
It didn’t take long for Wagner to earn the respect of the Rams locker room as he was voted a team captain in what turned out to be his only year with them. Wagner’s well-regarded around the league for his leadership and preparation, so he should have plenty of interest once free agency officially begins.
Where Wagner ends up is anyone’s guess, but his release from Los Angeles could be considered an indictment as he perhaps didn’t believe they could feasibly compete for a Super Bowl in 2023. On paper, he might have a point as people within the organization have not been shy about taking a more conservative approach when it comes to the roster this year.
For example, releasing Wagner helps clear some cap space but they are still operating over the cap and thus need to find ways to make more room. The rumor is that they could be trading away Jalen Ramsey soon which would be another blow to the defense.
How the Rams approach the next couple of months will be interesting to say the least, but fans can definitely expect more change.