On March 12, 2022, the Seattle Seahawks and linebacker Bobby Wagner mutually agreed to part ways, and he signed a five-year, $50 million contract with the Los Angeles Rams.
Now, almost a year later, Wagner is again a free agent looking for a home in 2023. The Dallas Cowboys were thrown around as a landing spot last year, given Wagner’s familiarity with defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. Dallas was out of the mix early because the price tag was too high.
The second time around, the Cowboys are still willing to kick the tires on the future Hall of Fame linebacker coming to DFW. NFL Insider Jordan Schultz reports.
Bobby Wagner’s market is heating up and several teams have reached out, sources tell @theScore.— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) March 10, 2023
I’m told the #Chargers and #Cowboys have called, among others. Don’t rule out a return to the #Seahawks either for the future first ballot Hall of Fame LB. pic.twitter.com/X3VzYINLms
The Cowboys certainly need a veteran linebacker on the roster. The futures of Leighton Vander Esch and Anthony Barr remain uncertain as they hit free agency next week. Dallas has Damone Clark, Jabril Cox, and Devin Harper under contract, but none of them have played the position at the NFL level for a full season.
With Dan Quinn returning to Dallas, pairing him with Wagner would significantly boost the defense if LVE were to leave. The Rams didn’t release No. 54 because of a drop-off in production. Wagner finished the year with second-team All-Pro honors for 140 tackles, ten tackles for loss, ten quarterback hits, and six sacks.
Wagner wants to contend for another Super Bowl, which won’t happen in Los Angeles in 2023, given the rumors of star players being on the trade block. If the Cowboys want to return to the playoffs, they can’t afford a drop-off in their defensive production with the offense in flux under new play-caller Mike McCarthy.
Outside of Vander Esch, there will be veteran linebackers available that fit in Quinn’s system. Pro Football Focus has Wagner ranked as the fourth best linebacker available and 27th best player overall. His projected contract is for one year worth $6.5 million—a bargain for a player with Wagner’s pedigree.
With the Cowboys freeing up cap space by restructuring contracts to Dak Prescott and Zack Martin, Wagner might be well within their price range the second time around.