Taking an Agent: Digging deep into Bobby Wagner’s contract for a free agent with Super Bowl champion Rams

Lineman Bobby Wagner gained more experience for his desire after his career to become the president of the NFL team by negotiating his own contract for the second time in his career in the NFL. The dynamics were different from when Wagner signed a three-year, $ 54 million extension to his contract, averaging $ 18 million a year with the Seahawks in 2019 to become the NFL’s highest-paid off-line lineman.

Wagner, who turns 32 in June, had to navigate the open market this time because the Seahawks released him just before the start of a free agency, rather than paying him $ 16.6 million in 2022 on a $ 20.35 million salary cap. He found that NFL teams are concerned about committing to large financial commitments to senior players in non-elite positions, regardless of performance. The 10-year-old had 170 tackles in his career while earning his eighth Pro Bowl pick in a row and the second All-Pro honor last season.

Wagner’s contract

Wagner signed a five-year, $ 50 million contract worth up to $ 65 million through encouragement to the Rams. The Future Hall of Fame said it had rejected a multi-year deal from Ravens that included $ 18 million with full guarantees of being close to home. Wagner is from Ontario, California, 80 miles east of the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, where the Rams’ home games take place.

The agreement includes $ 20 million in guarantees, of which $ 10 million is fully secured upon signing. Wagner’s $ 5 million signature bonus, $ 1.5 million 2022 base salary and $ 3.5 million on the fifth day of the 2023 league year bonus consist of the fully secured money. Technically, the project bonus is guaranteed for skills and injuries upon signing and the salary cap takes effect on April 8. The planning bonus is not against.

The $ 10 million insurance comes from Wagner’s $ 7.5 million base salary in 2023 and $ 2.5 million on the fifth day of the 2024 league year bonus. Both are insured for signing injuries and will be fully insured next March on the fifth day of the 2023 league year.

Wagner has $ 8.5 million in base salary in 2024 and 2026. His base salary in 2025 is $ 8 million. There are also $ 2.5 million bonuses on the fifth day of the 2025 and 2026 league years.

The deal has $ 3 million in annual concessions and $ 2 million is based on Wagner’s playing time and Rams’ performance. Wagner receives $ 250,000 each for 80% or more of defensive play time and the Rams improve their league standings in the allowed points, total defense or average yards given in each passing game for a total of $ 750,000. Taking at least 90% of Rams’ defensive hits is worth $ 500,000. Reaching the playoffs while the Rams advance to the finals will receive an additional $ 750,000.

One million is tied to Wagner’s honor each season. Wagner will receive $ 500,000 for being selected in the Pro Bowl and the Rams will improve their league standings from the 2021 season on allowed points, total defense or average nets given per pass. That’s $ 1 million instead of the All-Pro / All-NFL headline from the Associated Press, Pro Football Writers of America or Sporting News.

Wagner has the right to annul the 2024, 2025 and 2026 contract years. He must play at least 90% of the Rams’ 2022 and 2023 defenses, or earn a Pro Bowl honor in both seasons, to have a chance of getting out. last three years.

There were questions about how the Rams managed to acquire Wagner when news broke that he agreed to the terms last week. The Rams had more than $ 8.7 million off the salary cap in 2022, according to the NFLPA, before they bought it. 2022 Wagner’s maximum number is only $ 2.5 million ($ 1 million in proportion to the signature bonus and $ 1.5 million base salary).

A modest $ 5 million signing bonus allows the Rams to cancel the contract after one season before an additional $ 10 million is fully secured on the fifth day of the 2023 league year, with minimal consequences if Wagner’s talent starts to decline rapidly during this period. Wagner’s award in 2023 is $ 12 million, while the Rams would have to pay $ 7.5 million since he had a very short time in Los Angeles.

In this case, Wagner would have a one-year contract for 10 million dollars because the bonus in March 2023 is not opposed. The lack of a counterbalance will prevent the Rams from lowering the $ 3.5 million Wagner owes if he is released on the amount of his new contract with another team. Wagner would face a “double dip” in receiving $ 3.5 million from the Rams plus full pay from his new contract with another club. By contrast, Wagner would have a $ 6.5 million one-year contract because the Rams would be able to repay the $ 3.5 million he owed him from his next contract. Presumably, none of the concessions would earn in this worst case.

How profitable are Wagner’s motivations?

Wagner described the motive as “accurate” in a CNBC interview with Jabari Young. The plan is for Wagner to remain on the field at least and pair him with 2021 third-round pick Ernest Jones as inner defender.

The concession needed to be considered unlikely to be earned (NLTBE) so there would be no maximum fees during the period compared to the Rams salary cap. Any incentive based on what Wagner or Rams achieved statistically in the 2021 period is considered likely to be earned and is immediately counted against the wage cap, while anything not achieved in 2021 is not counted at the outset. Wagner’s playing time in 2021 was 89.1%, which is why the independence threshold is 90% playing time.

Linking individual and team performance also categorizes incentives as NLTBE. The three easiest teams, based on the Rams’ 2021 performance, are in Wagner’s contract. The Rams were in 15th, 15th and 17th place last season in the allowed points, average nets given in each passing game and overall defense. Concessions to improve playing time / team are based on performance bonuses in the extension within linebacker Alec Ogletree, who signed with the Rams in 2017, except that his playing time threshold was 85% instead of 80% Wagner.

Wagner has a legitimate chance of earning $ 2 million from Rams’ performance time per year, provided he stays healthy and continues to be an addition. For the past five seasons (2017-21), Wagner was on the field for 94.5% of Seattle’s defense.

Wagner will need to have a career-similar career outside of linebackers who were inducted into the Hall of Fame in recent years to earn some speed of honor. Ray Lewis was selected in the Pro Bowl each season during the centuries Wagner’s contracted Rams (32 to 36 years old). He was the main All-Pro when he was 33 and 34 years old. Brian Urlacher was a professional bowler at 32 and 33 years old. Derrick Brooks’ last All-Pro selection came when he was 32 years old. He went to the Pro Bowl when he was 32, 34 and 35 years old. The latest pick, Sam Mills, was named All-Pro’s first team at 37 years old.

Wagner may be given the right to cancel his contract. Taking into account Wagner’s age was a concern this year, trying to raise more than $ 32.5 million, with an additional $ 9 million in incentives over the last three years of this free market agreement two years after the 34-year period. 35 and 36 years. , would be a risky proposal. If Wagner maintains his level of play, he could potentially use the vacuum to improve the last three years as there is increased security and some, if not all, incentives are placed in the core values ​​of the contract.

Final thoughts

The value of Wagner’s contract will depend on how he continues to perform. That’s a $ 10 million one-year deal at worst. As long as Wagner is still with the Rams next March after the fifth day of the 2023 league year, he is guaranteed $ 20 million from the contract. Wagner, who maintains his current level of play for a long time, should allow him to enter the later years of the contract. If so, it’s hard to imagine Wagner not having a realistic chance of earning at least $ 2 million a year from the concessions.

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