Nick WagonerESPN staff writer3 minutes of reading
After one season together, The The Los Angeles Rams are parting ways with linebacker Bobby Wagner.
With the Rams about $13.7 million over the salary cap heading into the new league year, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Wagner and the Rams mutually agreed to part ways on Thursday.
When Wagner’s release becomes official, the Rams will save $5 million in salary cap space, but they’ll also take on $7.5 million in dead money. The Rams have the option to designate Wagner as a post-June 1 release, which would save them $8 million, though they won’t be able to credit that savings against their cap until this summer. Had Wagner been on the roster on the fifth day of the 2023 league year, his $7.5 million base salary and $2.5 million roster bonus due in 2024 would have been guaranteed.
Wagner, 32, joined the Rams after signing a five-year, $50 million contract with $20 million guaranteed on March 31, 2022. He earned second-team All-Pro honors after recording 140 tackles, 6 sacks, and 2 fumbles. Had an interception and 5 passes defensed while starting all 17 games. Pro Football Focus rated Wagner as the best linebacker in the NFL last season.
It was the ninth time in his 11 NFL seasons that Wagner was named All-Pro (six times on the first team, three times on the second team). That came after 10 years with the Seattle Seahawks, becoming a defensive leader and the team’s all-time leading tackler with 1,383. He has recorded over 100 tackles in all 11 seasons.
Wagner’s arrival with the Rams closed the loop on one of the team’s biggest draft regrets. When Wagner entered the 2012 NFL Draft, the Rams were hoping to land one of their three second-round picks.
No. As their pick approached in ’45, then-Rams linebackers coach Blake Williams texted Wagner and told him to “get ready.” Instead, the Rams traded down five spots to add a fifth-round pick. The Seahawks selected Wagner as the no. Picked at 47.
Now, Wagner is heading back to the free agent market. Although the new league year begins on March 15 at 4 p.m. ET, Wagner can sign with any team he chooses after the Rams officially release him.