LA Rams Bobby Wagner: From player to owner? Yes, that’s right
By Bret Stuter
Adding veteran inside linebacker Bobby Wagner to the LA Rams roster is increasingly more intriguing. As a writer who covers the Rams, it seems like a new day brings a new wrinkle to the ever-increasing and complex relations forming this year’s roster.
But of all the things I have seen in the relationship between a player and a team, I have never witnessed an NFL team supporting a present-day NFL player’s journey towards NFL team ownership one day.
I have to say, honestly, I’m impressed.
The news broke by The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue over a month ago, and at the time, I simply made note of it. Here is how this was reported in May 2022.
So why drum up the report now?
Well, as the NFL becomes far more competitive in trying to lure and retain elite players, the LA Rams risk losing what has been a bit of a monopoly on the strategy. We’ve seen how quickly NFL teams abandoned their old way of doing things and embrace the LA Rams method. Eight NFL teams entered the 2022 NFL Draft without a first-round draft pick. Why? They traded their pick for a veteran receiver or quarterback.
Rams care for players in a wide range of ways
With 25 percent of the NFL teams now attempting to replicate the Rams’ methods, it makes sense for the Rams to raise the bar that much higher. And by supporting veteran inside linebacker Bobby Wagner in his dream to hold some ownership share of an NFL team, they are doing exactly that.
Keep in mind that is not the only ‘caring for players’ strategy, but rather is just one page out of their book.
The Rams have been very proactive in ensuring that the team affords veterans a break. If the LA Rams are significantly ahead late in the game, the Rams will pull the starters to ensure veterans are not injured. The Rams had pulled starters from two games in 2021 that were out of hand, possibly hindering the record-setting pace of both QB Matthew Stafford and WR Cooper Kupp, and damaging the defensive ranking of the team as backups were not nearly as effective.
The Rams have opted not to play starters in preseason games as well. While that has not been as universally embraced by other teams, the success of the team has begun to convert preseason plans of other teams as well.
The Rams even give veterans planned rest days, which are days off from practicing on the football field and focusing on healing the bumps and bruises that happen over the course of the now 17-game season.
Is this all news to LA Rams fans? Probably not. But it is worth highlighting. The Rams are able to attract so many elite players to the roster because the Rams’ entire organization is built to support their health, safety, and future as much as possible.