With Bobby Wagner now available, should the Detroit Lions go all-in with a pursuit of the former Seahawks linebacker?
After agreeing to trade Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos on Tuesday, the Seattle Seahawks went all-in on a reset by releasing linebacker Bobby Wagner. The eight-time Pro Bowler and six-time All-Pro is immediately available and now goes toward, if not at, the top of the heap of free agent inside linebacker-types.
It’s no secret the Detroit Lions really struggled to stop the run in a few games last season, leading to them finishing with the league’s 28th-ranked rush defense (135.1 yards per game). Alex Anzalone and Jaylen Reeves-Maybin had some good moments and never lacked effort, but an upgrade over one or both of them at inside linebacker as they both hit unrestricted free agency shouldn’t be too tough to come by.
Should the Lions aggressively pursue Bobby Wagner?
At 32 years old in June, Wagner is likely to prioritize a place that’s ready to win, familiarity with a coach or maybe both for his next team (Dallas Cowboys?). He is also apparently acting as his own agent, so purely chasing money may not be a top priority as he enters the market.
Wagner’s made fewer impact plays last season (just three tackles for loss), but was still a very effective player with 170 total tackles for the Seahawks (third-most in the NFL). He also, still, never comes off the field with over 1,100 snaps in back-to-back seasons.
The question attached to Wagner in regard to the Lions is if he’d even entertain an offer from them. Things are on a better track in Detroit, but they are not set to be a contender in 2022. Seven wins would be more than double 2021’s win total, and a sure sign of progress. But for older free agents with options, like Wagner, it may be hard to be fully on-board for a year of progress even if they like the signs of a new culture.
The Lions should definitely have interest in Wagner, and make contact to see about the possibility of signing him. But unless all else fails him on the open market, he won’t be coming to Detroit.