Ravens swung hard and missed on linebacker Bobby Wagner in free agency

Bobby Wagner #54 of the Seattle Seahawks. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Bobby Wagner #54 of the Seattle Seahawks. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

The Baltimore Ravens have lost another one of their hotly-pursued targets in free agency, but this one may have been out of their hands.

Former Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner has decided to stay in the NFC and signed with the Los Angeles Rams on a five-year, $50 million deal on Thursday.

The Ravens reportedly stayed in the race up until the very end, putting  a “very competitive offer” on the table for Wagner a few days ago. While it’s impossible to say how close Baltimore was to landing him, the team felt confident about its chances and seemed to make more of an effort to sign Wagner than they did to sign pass-rusher Za’Darius Smith.

Wagner ultimately chose to stay on the West Coast and join the 2021 Super Bowl champs, hopeful to win one more ring in his already decorated career.

This is fantastic news — for the Rams, who desperately needed defensive reinforcements after losing Von Miller to the Buffalo Bills.

For the Ravens, who recently said they weren’t done adding in free agency, they will have to dip their toes back in a market quickly running out of quality talent.

Baltimore Ravens are heartbroken over Bobby Wagner’s decision to sign with the Rams

Immediately after the news broke, Lamar Jackson and Marlon Humphrey voiced their  disappointment on Twitter, and their sentiments are likely shared by the rest of the Ravens flock.

If they got him, Wagner would have ranked up there with Marcus Williams as the Ravens’ best acquisitions of 2022. Even though the former Seahawks linebacker doesn’t fill a major position of need, the future Hall-of-Famer would have truly transformed the team’s defense.

At 31-years-old, Wagner can still play at an elite level and the money he got from the Rams shows it. Given his reliability, production, and veteran presence, Wagner could have impacted Baltimore the same way Ravens legend Ray Lewis did many years ago, and Baltimore tried everything they could to sign him.

On paper, the Rams just came off of a Super Bowl-winning season and have retained many crucial pieces of their squad. The Ravens, on the other hand, posted a losing record in 2021 and will face fierce competition in the ultra-aggressive AFC. It’s not hard to see why Wagner picked LA instead.

So what now? Wagner was one of the last top-tier free agent options out there, but all hope is not lost. The Ravens can still use their remaining cap space to re-sign Calais Campbell and consider bringing back veterans like Justin Houston and Josh Bynes.

Next. 3 early keys to Ravens’ success in 2022. dark

Losing out on the Wagner sweepstakes may be the toughest blow of the offseason so far, but the Ravens must carry on as they always have done. No use in wallowing in the past.