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With Bobby Wagner signed, Rams have more stars in eyes



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The Rams already boasted two defensive gamers that seem destined for the Corridor of Fame.

Defensive lineman Aaron Donald is a three-time NFL defensive participant of the yr. Jalen Ramsey is a three-time All-Professional and is altering the definition of the cornerback place.

Now the Rams have added inside linebacker Bobby Wagner, a six-time All-Professional and Tremendous Bowl champion with the Seattle Seahawks.

It’s as if coach Sean McVay has assembled an all-star online game roster.

“Rattling proper,” McVay joked Monday throughout a videoconference, “We’re taking part in Madden over right here.”

Wagner, 31, agreed to phrases on a five-year take care of the Rams final week and signed a contract on Monday. Phrases haven’t been disclosed.

However regardless of the compensation, the Rams virtually definitely broke from their norm of not investing financially in inside linebackers.

After the Seahawks unceremoniously launched Wagner on March 8 — reportedly saving greater than $16 million in salary-cap house — Donald and Ramsey led the recruiting effort to carry him to Los Angeles to hitch the defending Tremendous Bowl champions.

“You watch it and admire it from afar,” Wagner, throughout a videoconference, stated of the Rams’ tradition. “You already know [the Rams] are prepared to do no matter they will to win.

“However I believe, too, is you’ve gotten guys like that, gamers like that which are All-Execs in their very own proper, attain out to you and wish to crew up.”

Rams receiver Cooper Kupp reaches for a pass as Seattle's Bobby Wagner (54) pursues.

Rams similar to Cooper Kupp will now not must preserve their eyes peeled for Bobby Wagner (54) on the Seattle protection.

(Kevork Djansezian / Related Press)

Donald and Ramsey advised Wagner they admired his recreation, Wagner stated.

“And if there was a possibility to come back to L.A., I ought to test it out,” he stated. “And that’s what I did.”

It’s a homecoming for Wagner. He grew up within the Inland Empire and performed at Ontario Colony Excessive earlier than starring at Utah State. He stated he nonetheless has household within the space and that his nephew attends Colony Excessive.

The chance to play for a Tremendous Bowl champion in entrance of household at SoFi Stadium, and to proceed neighborhood efforts in his house area, was too good to go up, he stated.

Below McVay, the Rams haven’t regarded inside linebacker as a place for heavy and even modest funding. However the probability so as to add Wagner to a protection that features ascending second-year inside linebacker Ernest Jones modified the equation.

As did ensuring that the Rams would now not must play towards the 10-year veteran, a Professional Bowl choice in every of the final eight seasons. Wagner is predicted to solidify a run protection that has struggled towards the division rival San Francisco 49ers.

“Regardless that that wasn’t an enormous place of want, if you’ll, there’s sure gamers that alter your strategy simply based mostly on their physique of labor, their management all of the intangibles and the manufacturing,” McVay stated. “Actually, Bobby was a kind of guys.”

Wagner’s resumé “speaks for itself,” normal supervisor Les Snead stated.

“[ILB] is mainly three letters within the alphabet,” Snead stated of the abbreviation for inside linebacker, “However generally the individual, and that skillset the individual brings to the desk, is larger than these three letters within the alphabet.”

Wagner was a second-round draft choose by the Seahawks in 2012. He anchored the famed “Legion of Growth” defenses that helped the Seahawks win Tremendous Bowl XLVIII on the finish of the 2013 season, and practically win Tremendous Bowl XLIX the subsequent.

Wagner stated he thought he would play his total profession with the Seahawks, however the Seahawks launched him the identical day they traded quarterback Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos.

Wagner, who serves as his personal agent, was indignant the Seahawks didn’t contact him to inform him he had been launched. He discovered the information from different sources.

“After 10 years it may have been a easy dialog,” he stated. “Even when they needed to go in a unique route. … I’ve proven the aptitude of dealing with robust conversations.”

However Wagner stated he doesn’t have “hate in my coronary heart” for Seattle, the Seahawks, coach Pete Carroll or normal supervisor John Schneider.

Taking part in towards the Seahawks at the least twice a season in NFC West video games, nonetheless, is a “cherry on prime” of his determination to signal with the Rams.

“I’ll be sure that [the Seahawks] see me each time we play them,” he stated, “in order that they’ll know the place I’m at — and I’ll be sure that I inform them.

“It gained’t be a quiet recreation for me.”