Wagner elected to sign with his hometown Los Angeles Rams this past week leaving both the Ravens and their fans thinking about what could have been.
But what was it that made Wagner sign with the Rams? Was it the money? Was it their overall pitch? As it turns out, neither. The Ravens actually offered Wagner more guaranteed money to come to Baltimore.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on Monday that the Ravens offered Wagner a deal that would have seen him earn $18 million over the first two years as opposed to the $17.5 million he’s making in Los Angeles.
However, although he was “impressed” with the Ravens, Wagner ultimately chose the Rams because they offered more incentives and, most importantly, he wanted to stay home in Los Angeles.
The Ravens couldn’t exactly compete with the latter.
The Ravens nearly signed Bobby Wagner in free agency
Wagner was surprisingly released by the Seattle Seahawks last month following the trade of Russell Wilson. As arguably the greatest linebacker of his generation, he was always going to garner considerable interest on the open market.
That proved to be the case with over a dozen teams reportedly interested at one point. It ultimately came down to two teams, the Rams and the Ravens. The Ravens were in it until the very end, but they weren’t able to secure their star free agent.
Even at 31-years-old, Wagner is still playing at a very high level. He may not be quite the All-Pro that he was a couple of years ago, but he’s still earned eight consecutive Pro Bowl nods and been named first-team All-Pro in six of the last eight seasons.
Wagner is still very, very good. Unfortunately, he’ll be staying on the west coast for a deal that will pay him $50 million over five years, although it’s highly unlikely he plays out all five years in Los Angeles.
The Ravens will continue their search for an upgrade at the linebacker position in the 2022 NFL Draft with the potential to bring back veterans like Josh Bynes and L.J. Fort.
But missing out on Bobby Wagner is painful. There’s no denying that.