LA Rams do the unthinkable by releasing All-Pro ILB Bobby Wagner
By Bret Stuter
The LA Rams have shocked the NFL with the outright release of veteran ILB Bobby Wagner, a move that only makes sense to bean counters. It was the only outright move that the Rams had available to them, and comes at a time when the team seemed to have benefitted significantly from Wagner's veteran leadership. Not only did the team's defense benefit from his tackles (140) and quarterback sacks (six), but as the team plummeted in the rankings, it was Wagner who remained the calming force for the team.
In our latest article - LA Rams roster offers few 'cap casualty' options to clear cap space - now just 24 hours old, we pointed out the challenge facing the LA Rams front office. But we did point out at that time that the most likely contract to be severed by the Rams' front office was that of Wagner's.
"The trouble is, the LA Rams do not have the type of 'severable' contracts that allow the team to clear millions just be releasing veteran players. In truth, the most an outright release of any single player will free up in terms of salary cap dollars is if the Rams opt to cut veteran ILB Bobby Wagner, and that would only free up $5 million."- per Bret Stuter of Ramblin Fan
A day after we named Wagner as a possible cap casualty, the Rams cut him
One day later, that is exactly what the LA Rams did. And I had to sit down as soon as I read ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter's announcement.
The messaging in the Tweet is pretty alarming, and I will dive into it soon. For now, the LA Rams tandem of Ernest Jones and Bobby Wagner was incredible, but it's over.
For my part, the move fits the LA Rams intentions of returning to the formula In which the team found so much success. The Rams defense, for those years, was stout on the defensive front and in the secondary. But the team invested next to nothing into the inside linebacker position. Truth be told, the Rams seldom invested a draft pick in the position.
While this will certainly turn the spotlight on Wagner's teammate, Ernest Jones, it does not bode well for Jones future. After all, if the LA Rams are willing to part ways with Bobby Wagner after the type of season he had, what chance does Ernest Jones have of signing an extension with the Rams when the time comes?