How NFL star Bobby Wagner negotiated his $ 65 million deal with the Rams

Interview with Bobby Wagner # 54 of Seattle Seahawks after training at Training Camp in Renton, Washington on July 29, 2021.

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NFL linebacker Bobby Wagner wanted another challenge as he prepared for life after football. So he represented himself in the 2022 free agent market after being released on Seattle Seahawks cost savings operation.

On Monday, Wagner, 31, agreed a five-year deal with the Los Angeles Rams that could reach $ 65 million. Wagner said team and player-based incentives were “achievable” in the deal. He called it “a win for me and a win for them”.

In an interview with CNBC on Monday night, Wagner discussed his new deal and explained why he negotiated the terms again without using an agent. This is not the first time Wagner has dropped representation, but he acknowledged that their numbers were not enough to defeat him.

“But,” he said, “I always challenge myself not only on the football field, but also outside the football field.”

Setting aside emotions

“The crazy part about all this,” Wagner tweeted on March 11, “I played there for 10 years & I never asked them I would never come back.”

The Twitter response came just days after reports emerged that the Seahawks would release Pro Bowl Linebacker eight times. $ 16 million was saved for the Cutthroat action team. The club that competes in the NFC West with the Rams is being rebuilt. They traded their Super Bowl-winning quarterback Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos. Head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider blamed Wagner for the lack of contact.

On Monday night, Wagner explained how the Seahawks handled his frustration.

“I never intended to leave,” Wagner told CNBC. “I’ve planned to play my whole life there. So, when it happened, you were frustrated, and then you’re even more frustrated with how you found out.” Wagner added, “He took a minute to vent his emotions and then locked up.”

To comment on the matter, a Seahawks spokesman emailed CNBC, “Awesome player, congratulations to him.”

The Seahawks created Wagner in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft. He has represented himself in contract negotiations since signing a $ 43 million deal with Seahawks in 2015.

However, this method is different.

“The first time was a bit easier because I knew the team, GM and club history,” Wagner said. “Free agency is a bit different this time around because you have to access all GMs – that was another challenge.

The NFL Players’ Association holds a list of contact information for general managers. Wagner received the list and said, “I started sending reminders and emails to the teams that represented me, and they could approach me if they wanted my services.”

During the fourth quarter at Lumenfield on September 19, 2021 in Seattle, Washington, the Tennessee Titans ‘Jeremy McNicholes # 28 defeated the Seattle Seahawks’ Bobby Wagner # 54.

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Inside the $ 65 million deal

Wagner said he had reviewed past contracts, player statistics and current NFL contracts for linebackers. Another stigma he has to overcome is age.

Wagner said older linebackers are not properly valued because of age, as teams favor younger players. But he noted other Pro Bowl linebackers who have played “over 31”, including Baltimore Ravens icon Ray Lewis, who retired at 37. Other greats at the club over the age of 31: former Rams linebacker London Fletcher and New Orleans Saints Pro bowler Sam Mills played until 38, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers Hall of Fame Derrick Brooks until 35.

“The idea is that you can not play as long as you want,” Wagner said.

Teams including the Ravens and Dallas Cowboys reached out. During the talks, Wagner said, “If the teams send less or send something that does not impress me, it will be an attack.”

“I felt like I was in a good situation where I knew how to handle my emotions and what position I was in in my career,” he added. “I wanted to get the right deal for me.”

Rams awarded the contract.

Wagner’s contract is actually a five-year, $ 50 million deal that could reach $ 65 million if he gets the incentive. 90% of them are Wagner playing defensive photos; The Rams create playoffs and complete the first five defenses. Other additional features include a nearly $ 10 million roster bonus and another Pro Bowl pick, according to Sportrock, a sports deal website.

“They are very achievable incentives,” he said. Wagner added, “To find out which team you work with, you need to read the teams’ pay range space. Some teams do not have cap space and some do not have the flexibility to work with numbers. So ultimately, you have to build your market.”

Super Bowl champion Rams contract meets other criteria: Wagner of Los Angeles plays near home. He also plans to have a residence in Seattle.

Wagner also said he had a real flirtation with the Cowboys. “It’s a real thing. We talked. I like it [Cowboys defensive coordinator] He has great respect for Don Quinn and himself. But between their needs and what they were willing to spend, we could not agree. But there was mutual interest, “he said.

“Between the Rams and the Cowboys – they’ll be a team with a long history and a lot of history,” Wagner added. “Being able to be a part of any of those rights enhances your reputation. I got into one.”

Seattle Seahawks’ Bobby Wagner # 54, before the game against the Green Bay Packers on September 10, 2017 at the Green Bay Lampeau Field in Wisconsin.

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Wagner should be an NFL team leader

While discussing the decision to represent himself, Wagner demanded to end the story of “hostility or I feel negative” in the use of NFL agents. “In the end, I did not do it to say I was an agent. I did it for growth.”

In addition, Wagner was able to build more relationships with NFL team executives and learn more about the football business. The goal here is to establish himself as a future team leader.

If Wagner achieves that goal he will be one of the few black team leaders in NFL history.

Washington Commanders Executive Jason Wright joins his first Black Team Leader at NFL 2020. The Ravens hired a second person in February 2022, bringing in NFL and NBA team manager Sashi Brown. And throughout Pro Basketball, the NBA has dropped from the league-top seven Black Team CEOs to only three now in 2007. MLB loses first block CEO after Miami Marlins CEO Derek Jetter resigns

Wagner noted that most players go to training or the media after their careers. But he is the highest goal.

“That’s the box that people put you in,” Wagner said. “I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that, but that’s the box we’ve put in. They put us in this box where we can not be president or CEO, like, ‘If I’re why I can not. Do you understand business?’ ‘

He further explained: “What happens to players is that we get stuck in our bubble. We get stuck in our world, no matter how long you play – for three years or 10 – we get very stuck and think the world is a certain way. Then when we come out in the real world. , Have never enjoyed anything outside of being a part of a football team. “

Wagner added, “If I start from where I started, if I understand the business and understand what’s going on in the locker room, it makes me more valuable.”

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