Lions Pushed to Add All-Pro Linebacker as Next Free Agency Move


    Bobby Wagner on the field in a 2021 game.

    The Detroit Lions have had a slow start to NFL free agency, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still moves out there for the team to make that would improve their prospects for 2022 dramatically.

    One such player that could help is linebacker Bobby Wagner. Unceremoniously released in Seattle, Wagner is looking for a new home in free agency and the Lions could offer him a soft landing in a place where he could get his career back on track and provide some leadership.

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    As it relates to the one more move that every team should make, Bleacher Report once again came through with some ideas for every team in the league. Writer Kristopher Knox made the case that Wagner needs to be the priority of the Lions, and said that the team’s poor defense needs some solid upgrades like Wagner could provide.

    “Adding Wagner would give the Lions an upper-echelon defender while also adding a veteran presence to the next stage of their rebuild,” Knox wrote in the piece.

    Do the Lions have interest in making this happen? Perhaps. Analyst Jordan Schultz revealed a few weeks back that the Lions were one of the many teams involved in the market for Wagner. That market could have as many as 12 teams vying for his services.

    “Other teams I’m told have interest in Bobby Wagner inc the Jets, Lions and Patriots. So yeah, the All-Decade LB will have his pick of the litter, so to speak!,” Schultz tweeted.

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    Since, Wagner’s market may have cooled off a bit, and he remains unsigned. That doesn’t change the fact that folks believe the Lions need to make him a priority signing the rest of the way.

    The Lions have not made any splurge signings, but Wagner could qualify as one if it happens, and it’s just the kind of move some people think the Lions need to make to get better.

    Wagner’s Career Stats & Highlights

    It isn’t overstating it to say that Wagner is one of the best linebackers the game of football has seen in the past decade. It isn’t just the stats but his overall impact on the game which shows what a dramatic addition he would be for a team like Detroit that struggles on defense at the position. Where to start on Wagner? Maybe with the fact that he has 1,383 tackles, 23.5 sacks and 11 interceptions. All of that has led to Wagner being a six-time first-team All-Pro and an eight-time Pro Bowl player. Wagner also has a Super Bowl ring to his credit, and was part of the all-decade team at linebacker.

    Here’s some career highlights:

    VideoVideo related to lions pushed to add all-pro linebacker as next free agency move2022-03-22T15:45:30-04:00

    It’s clear a player like Wagner can help the Lions, but only if the price is right and he agrees to buy into the current vision of the team. It might be hard to see a deal getting done given the number of teams that could be interested, but the longer Wagner goes without a team, the easier it could be for the Lions to get a deal done.

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    Lions Could Use Help at Linebacker

    Whether it’s Wagner or not, upgrades are needed in a big way at this position in Detroit. The team brought back Alex Anzalone and have signed gritty free agent Chris Board, who is an elite player on special teams and could be pushing hard for a starting role when he gets to Detroit. Outside of that, the team lost Jalen Reeves-Maybin and has rookie Derrick Barnes on the roster, who could benefit from Wagner as a mentor on the field and in the locker room. The team also seems destined to spend an early 2022 pick on the position given the need for more youth and playmaking on the defense.

    Wagner is the kind of veteran presence that would help the Lions in a big way, and would fit Dan Campbell’s outlook for the team. On many levels, this signing would fit. The only thing left to see is if the Lions will agree and make the call.

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