Rick Wagner – Green Bay Packers
After signing Wagner to one of the richest contracts for an offensive tackle at the time in March of 2017, the Lions were hoping that he could help solidify the right side of their offensive line for years to come. It never really happened, and the Lions cut Wagner loose after three disappointing seasons.
Wagner’s play wasn’t bad necessarily, but he was all too often overpowered by some of the league’s best pass-rushers. Starting right tackles have to be able to hold their own against those kinds of players at least some of the time.
Wagner simply couldn’t be relied upon against high-level competition, and combined with health concerns (eight missed games in three years), the Lions decided to move on with two years left on his deal.
Wagner was quickly scooped up by his home-state Green Bay Packers, who needed to fill the void left by another veteran right tackle in Bryan Bulaga, after the latter signed with the Los Angeles Chargers. With All-Pro David Bakhtiari manning the left side, the Packers’ bookends have been a major team strength over the last half-decade. Can that continue this season with Wagner in the fold?
In addition to two games against the Lions, he’ll still have to face one of his biggest nemeses in Danielle Hunter of Minnesota Vikings. He’s also in line for matchups against Nick Bosa and Dee Ford of the San Francisco 49ers, Shaquil Barrett of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Cameron Jordan of the New Orleans Saints. The Packers are hoping that a change of scenery will help him elevate his game against some of the league’s best edge rushers.