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Sunday, April 21, 2024
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For $50M, Rams Form New Big Three with Bobby Wagner

  • Donald, Wagner, and Ramsey have the three most Defensive First-Team All-Pro selections in the league since 2016.
  • Los Angeles economically bolsters its defense after the departure of Von Miller.
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

After big spending brought them a Super Bowl last season, the Rams are going the value route for another defensive superstar.

On Thursday, Los Angeles signed ILB Bobby Wagner to a five-year, $50 million contract worth up to $65 million with incentives, per multiple reports.

The move was a savvy play to economically bolster the defense after the departure of OLB Von Miller, who signed with the Bills for six years and $120 million. Wagner’s AAV ($10M) is half of Miller’s ($20M).

The former Seahawks star joins DT Aaron Donald and CB Jalen Ramsey to form one of the most formidable defensive trios in the NFL.

  • Donald (6), Wagner (5), and Ramsey (3) have the three most Defensive First-Team All-Pro selections in the league since 2016.
  • In 2021, L.A. had the fifth-ranked defense by DVOA.
  • Wagner is the NFL’s active leader in career combined tackles (1,383) and fumble return TDs (3).

Adding an assumed $10 million for Wagner, the three combine for an approximately $60 million cap hit in 2022 — about 30% of the team’s total cap.

In order to free up space, the Rams declined to re-sign CB Darious Williams, G Austin Corbett, and DT Sebastian Joseph, among others, and traded WR Robert Woods to the Titans for a 2023 sixth-round pick.

They can also free up space by extending and restructuring Donald’s contract. Somehow, the 30-year-old is only the sixth-highest-paid defensive player in the league by AAV ($22.5M).

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