Bobby Wagner thought Rams tenure would ‘go a little bit different than it did’

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When Bobby Wagner and the Los Angeles Rams linked up last year, they probably figured their partnership would last longer than one season. After all, he signed a five-year deal worth $50 million, so they planned for him to be there for several years.

Unfortunately, things didn’t work out and they mutually decided to part ways this offseason, resulting in the linebacker’s release after one season. After taking a little bit of time to pick his new team, Wagner landed back where it all started: Seattle.

He signed a one-year deal worth $7 million with the Seahawks, returning to the team that drafted him in 2012. Wagner spoke a little bit on his Rams tenure with Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times and he says he thought it would’ve gone differently than it did.

“I did not think that this was in the cards,’’ Wagner said of a Seahawks return. “I think it was just like how everything happened and just them wanting to go younger (with Brooks and Cody Barton) and things of that nature, I thought this wasn’t necessarily in the cards. And then, obviously, I thought the Rams situation would probably go a little bit different than it did. But I’m happy with the outcome.’’

While Wagner excelled individually last season, the team struggled badly. It was the worst season ever by a team Wagner was on; the Rams went 5-12 and missed the playoffs. Wagner had to learn a new defense and get acclimated to a new team with new faces, but he found it to be a valuable learning experience.

He especially loved being able to play in front of his family back home in Los Angeles, which was a big reason he wanted to sign with the Rams last offseason.

“I think, years from now, I don’t know how much weight it (his year with the Rams) will have,’’ he said. “But it was definitely a learning experience. I thought it was really cool to be home and see my family more often, my family I grew up with more often, like I had family members that they can’t travel anymore on planes and stuff and they were able to come to games and that part was cool.

“And I think being in Seattle for so long, there was kind of a narrative that that was the only system that I can play well in, so being able to learn a new system and go through those growing pains and show that it doesn’t matter; the system, I can figure it out.’’

The Rams will miss Wagner, just as the Seahawks did in 2022. Alongside Jalen Ramsey and Aaron Donald, he was their best defensive player, and probably the most reliable on the team last season.

It won’t be easy to replace him but the Rams are going through a mini-reset and wanted additional cap space for not only 2023, but more importantly, 2024 and 2025.

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Story originally appeared on Rams Wire