Could the Giants make a splash with All-Pro LB Bobby Wagner in free agency?

new york giants, bobby wagner

The New York Giants will be in the market for a linebacker this offseason, and a new player has entered the game. The Los Angeles Rams released nine-time All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner on Thursday, making him the new top linebacker available in free agency this offseason.

Wagner would instantly solve Big Blue’s problems in the middle of their defense. However, the 2022 second-team All-Pro would not come cheap. The Giants could make a splash with Bobby Wagner this offseason, but they will have to break the bank to land him.

Should the Giants target Bobby Wagner?

The Rams released Bobby Wagner on Thursday to save $5 million in salary cap space. Last offseason, Los Angeles inked Wagner to a five-year, $50 million dollar contract. After just one season with the team, Wagner and the Rams mutually agreed to part ways. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the “Rams needs more cap space and Wagner wants to win.”

The Giants are coming off their winningest season since 2016. In his first year as head coach, Brian Daboll transformed Big Blue into a playoff contender, going 9-7-1 in the regular season and winning the franchise’s first postseason game since 2012.

In the Divisional Round of the postseason, though, the Giants’ defense was exposed as the Eagles rushed for 268 yards en route to victory. The Giants’ lack of linebacker talent was on full display in the defeat.

Linebacker is arguably the Giants’ biggest weakness entering this offseason. Signing a player like Bobby Wagner would instantly solve that problem. Despite a disappointing 5-12 season for the Rams, Wagner was still one of the league’s very best on defense, totaling 140 combined tackles and six sacks on his way to his ninth career All-Pro team selection.

Wagner’s last deal had him earning $10 million per season. His next deal could land him in the same price range. New York is expected to have around $47 million in cap space, so they could afford to sign Wagner. However, much of the Giants’ cap space will be devoted to the extensions of Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley, meaning Wagner would be the only splash signing Big Blue could afford.

At 32 years old, Bobby Wagner is entering the final stages of his career. The Giants, possessing one of the youngest rosters in the NFL, might not deem an aging Wagner worth the price tag. However, if Wagner could be had on an affordable, short-term deal, he could turn New York’s defense around overnight. Bobby Wagner is a top free agent that the New York Giants should consider this offseason.

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