LOS ANGELES (AP) — Linebacker Bobby Wagner is parting ways with the Los Angeles Rams after just one season, a person familiar with the decision said Thursday.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because Wagner’s release won’t be official until after the start of the new league year next month.
The 32-year-old Wagner was outstanding in his only season with his hometown Rams, who signed him as a free agent last March following a decade with the Seattle Seahawks.
Wagner started all 17 games at middle linebacker and made 140 tackles with a career-high six sacks and even two interceptions for the Rams, who went 5-12 in the worst season by a defending Super Bowl champion in NFL history. Los Angeles’ defense soundly outperformed its offense throughout the season, with Wagner’s strong play and leadership playing major roles while most of the Rams’ other star players struggled with major injuries.
Wagner signed a five-year deal with $20 million guaranteed when he joined Los Angeles, but his release before June 1 will create $5 million in salary cap savings for the Rams, who are currently about $14 million over the cap. His release also results in $7.5 million in dead money, according to Over The Cap.
Rams middle linebacker Ernest Jones, who played alongside and behind Wagner last season, figures to be Wagner’s main replacement. Jones is heading into his third season with Los Angeles.
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