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The Los Angeles Rams have decided to cut 6-time All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner, and it is going to be very interesting to see where he lands for the 2023 season. Wagner is one of the most respected players in the NFL, having been named to the Pro Bowl six times, and he is widely regarded as one of the best linebackers in the league. As soon as the news broke, plenty of Detroit Lions fans took to social media to say that the Lions should sign Wagner as a free agent.
Now a list has emerged from CBS Sports, and sure enough, the Lions are one of the teams included as a landing spot for Wagner. The Lions finished in second place in the NFC North division in the 2022 season, with a 9-8 record. The Lions still have work to do to become a Super Bowl contender, and signing a player of Wagner would certainly improve their defense in the short term. But could he cost too much money?
Top 5 Landing Spots for Bobby Wagner
According to Bryan Deardo of CBS Sports, the Top 5 landing spots for Bobby Wagner are as follows:
- Cincinnati Bengals
- Philadelphia Eagles
- New York Giants
- Detroit Lions
- Pittsburgh Steelers
Why it Matters for Detroit Lions and Bobby Wagner
Wagner, despite being 32 years old, was one of the best linebackers in the NFL in 2022. He finished the season with 140 tackles, six sacks, and two interceptions. Wagner is a tackling machine and a true leader on and off the field. He will be a welcome addition to any team that signs him.
If the Lions were to sign Wagner, it could certainly improve their defense in the short term. The Lions finished the 2022 season with the fourth-worst scoring defense in the NFL, allowing 25.1 points per game. (They were much better over the final 10 games) Wagner's leadership and experience could help turn that around.
However, Wagner could be too costly for the Lions to bring on, especially since they are more than one player away from truly contending for a Super Bowl. The Lions currently have a lot of cap space, but they also have many other holes to fill on their roster.
Bottom line for Wagner and the Lions
Wagner is going to be a difference-maker for somebody in 2023, but, in my opinion, it seems likely that the Lions will take a pass on him. The team needs to address several areas of concern, including their offensive line, wide receiver, and secondary positions. If Wagner were to start declining, which he very well could because of his age, his contract could end up being a burden for a team that signs him to a long-term deal.
Wagner is a fantastic player, and any team that signs him will be getting a great player and leader. While the Lions could certainly use his talents, they are likely to focus on other areas of their team that need to be addressed. Time will tell where Wagner ends up, but one thing is for sure: he will be a valuable addition to any team lucky enough to have him.