June 30, 2022


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Agent’s POV: Dig deeper into Bobby Wagner’s free agent take care of the Tremendous Bowl champions Rams

Inside linebacker Bobby Wagner gained extra expertise for his post-career aspiration to grow to be NFL crew president by negotiating his personal contract for the second time in his NFL profession. The dynamic was completely different than when Wagner negotiated a three-year, $54 million contract extension averaging $18 million a yr with the Seahawks in 2019 to grow to be the NFL’s highest-paid off-ball linebacker.

Wagner, who turns 32 in June, needed to navigate the free market this time round as a result of the Seahawks launched him within the days earlier than free company started relatively than pay him $16.6 million. in 2022 on a wage cap of $20.35 million. He discovered that NFL groups had been involved about making main monetary commitments to older gamers in non-premium positions, no matter their efficiency. The ten-year veteran had a career-high 170 tackles whereas incomes his eighth straight Professional Bowl choice and second All-Professional crew final season.

Wagner’s settlement

Wagner signed a five-year, $50 million contract value as much as $65 million via incentives with the Rams. The long run Corridor of Famer reportedly turned down a multi-year contract from the Ravens containing $18 million absolutely assured to remain near residence. Wagner is from Ontario, California, 80 miles east of SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, the place the Rams’ residence video games are performed.

The contract incorporates $20 million in ensures, of which $10 million is absolutely assured at signing. Wagner’s $5 million signing bonus, $1.5 million base wage for 2022 and $3.5 million bonus for the fifth day of the 2023 league yr embrace the absolutely assured cash. Technically, the roster bonus is assured for signing expertise and accidents and the wage cap assure goes into impact on April 8. Listing bonus has no compensation.

The opposite $10 million in security comes from Wagner’s base wage of $7.5 million in 2023 and $2.5 million on the fifth day of the 2024 league yr bonus. Each are assured in opposition to signature accidents and grow to be absolutely assured subsequent March on the fifth day of the 2023 Championship yr.

Wagner has a base wage of $8.5 million in 2024 and 2026. His base wage in 2025 is $8 million. There are additionally $2.5 million in bonuses for the fifth day of the league yr in 2025 and 2026.

The deal offers $3 million in annual incentives, and $2 million is predicated on Wagner’s enjoying time and Rams efficiency. Wagner receives $250,000 every for 80% or extra defensive enjoying time and the Rams enhance their league standings in factors allowed, complete protection or common internet yards given up per move for a complete of $750,000. Taking not less than 90% of the Rams’ defensive snaps is value $500,000. Reaching the sport time threshold whereas the Rams are within the playoffs nets a further $750,000.

1,000,000 is tied to Wagner honors every season. Wagner receives $500,000 for being chosen to the Professional Bowl and the Rams enhance their league standings beginning within the 2021 season in factors allowed, complete protection or common internet yards given up per move. It’s extra like $1 million for first-team All-Professional/All-NFL by the Related Press, Professional Soccer Writers of America, or Sporting Information.

Wagner has the suitable to void his 2024, 2025 and 2026 contract years. He should play not less than 90% of the Rams’ defensive snaps in 2022 and 2023, or win Professional Bowl honors in each seasons, with a view to have the choice to decide out of the final three years.

There have been questions on how the Rams had been in a position to purchase Wagner when information of his phrases deal broke final week. The Rams had simply over $8.7 million in wage cap area for 2022, in keeping with the NFLPA, earlier than signing him. Wagner’s cap for 2022 is simply $2.5 million ($1 million prorated signing bonus and $1.5 million base wage).

The modest $5 million signing bonus permits the Rams to exit the deal after one season earlier than one other $10 million is absolutely assured on day 5 of the 2023 league yr, with minimal affect on the cap if Wagner’s expertise begin to dwindle quickly this season. Wagner’s 2023 cap is $12 million, whereas the Rams would have a $7.5 million cap cost, with him having a really brief stint in Los Angeles.

On this case, Wagner would have a one-year contract for $10 million as a result of the March 2023 roster bonus has no compensation. The dearth of compensation prevents the Rams from decreasing the $3.5 million owed to Wagner if they’re launched from the quantity of his new contract with one other crew. Wagner would get a “double dip” the place he would obtain $3.5 million from the Rams on prime of his full wage from his new contract with one other membership. With compensation, Wagner could be on a one-year contract for $6.5 million, because the Rams may recoup the $3.5 million owed to him on his subsequent contract. Presumably not one of the incentives could be earned on this worst-case state of affairs.

How remunerative are Wagner’s incentives?

Wagner referred to as the incentives “achievable” in a CNBC interview with Jabari Younger. The intent is for Wagner to remain on the sector on each down and pair him with 2021 third-rounder Ernest Jones at inside linebacker.

Incentives wanted to qualify as Non-Earnable (NLTBE) so there isn’t a cap price throughout the season given the Rams’ wage cap constraints. Any incentive based mostly on what Wagner or the Rams have statistically achieved within the 2021 season is taken into account earnable and instantly counts towards the wage cap, whereas something not achieved in 2021 doesn’t rely. not initially. Wagner’s enjoying time in 2021 was 89.1%, which is why the autonomous threshold is 90% enjoying time.

Tying particular person and crew achievements collectively additionally classifies an incentive as NLTBE. The three best crew classes to achieve based mostly on Rams efficiency in 2021 are Wagner’s contract classes. The Rams ranked fifteenth, fifteenth and seventeenth final season in factors in opposition to, common internet yards given up per passing play and complete protection. Gametime/crew enchancment incentives are based mostly on efficiency bonuses within the inside extension of linebacker Alec Ogletree signed with the Rams in 2017, besides his gametime threshold was 85% as a substitute of 80% for Wagner.

Wagner has a respectable shot at incomes the Rams/Playtime $2 million in efficiency incentives a yr, offered he stays wholesome and continues to be a linebacker each time. Over the previous 5 seasons (2017-21), Wagner was on the sector for 94.5% of Seattle’s defensive performs.

Wagner might want to have a profession trajectory just like Corridor of Fame inductee off-ball linebackers lately to earn one of many awards. Ray Lewis has been chosen for the Professional Bowl each season for the ages Wagner has been underneath contract with the Rams (32-36). He was a first-team All-Professional at 33 and 34. Brian Urlacher was a Professional Bowler at 32 and 33. Derrick Brooks’ final first-team All-Professional choice got here on the age of 32. He went to the Professional Bowl at ages 32, 34, and 35. The newest inductee, Sam Mills, was named first-team All-Professional at age 37.

It’s conceivable that Wagner obtains the suitable to withdraw from his contract. Contemplating Wagner’s age was a priority this yr, making an attempt to get greater than $32.5 million, with one other $9 million in incentives during the last three years of that open-market contract in two years for the seasons when he shall be 34, 35 and 36 years previous. , could be a dangerous proposition. If Wagner maintains his stage of play, he may be capable to use the vacuum to raised construction the ultimate three years the place there’s added safety and a few, if not all, of the incentives are constructed into the bottom worth of the sport. ‘OK.

Ultimate Ideas

The worth of Wagner’s contract will rely upon how effectively he continues to carry out. It’s a one-year contract for 10 million {dollars} within the worst case. So long as Wagner continues to be with the Rams subsequent March after day 5 of the 2023 championship yr, he’s assured $20 million from the contract. Wagner sustaining his present stage of play for an prolonged interval ought to permit him to enter the ultimate years of the contract. If that’s the case, it’s laborious to think about Wagner wouldn’t have a sensible alternative to earn not less than $2 million in incentives a yr.