If you thought that the days of Dallas Cowboys fans longing after former members of the Seattle Seahawks defense were over then this offseason may have caught you by surprise. While it was once Earl Thomas whom Cowboys fans envisioned patrolling Kris Richard’s secondary, it is currently Bobby Wagner manning Dan Quinn’s defense that is dominating people’s attention.
Dallas has addressed the linebacker spot in free agency by bringing back Leighton Vander Esch and Luke Gifford to one-year deals (although the latter is really more of a special teams thing), but more is never a bad thing, especially if it comes in the package of one of the league’s best defensive players from the last decade.
Bobby Wagner is hardly the prime version of himself right now but that isn’t to say that he can’t play or help this team. The Cowboys could certainly use another qualified body at linebacker, especially with how often Micah Parsons floats up front to rush the passer, but how much are they willing to spend for that help?
Bobby Wagner is reportedly seeking a one-year deal worth about $11M
When it comes to free agency and the Cowboys, things always circle back to the end-all, be-all – the price.
The Cowboys are notorious for wanting to get as much value as possible (a fine way to think and operate) and do not believe in the overpaying that typically happens around free agency. It isn’t often that price tags for players are made public before any deal is struck, but Wagner is a big name and has been on the market for a few weeks now.
According to Peter King, if the Cowboys are interested in Wagner it might have to be for a one-year deal worth about $11M.
Rams have legitimate interest, but not at Wagner’s price—he’s thought to be asking for about $11 million on a one-year deal. The 32-year-old linebacker is still playing very well, and he’d be a luxury item for the Super Bowl champs. If he wants to stay in the same division as the team that dropped him, Seattle, Wagner will have to recalibrate his asking price down. He may just find another team—Baltimore? Dallas?—with more money available.
The Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams have been floated as a potential landing spot for Wagner for a while now, and the Baltimore Ravens have been connected to him as well to a lesser degree. Obviously the Cowboys have had their hat thrown in the ring to a certain extent.
Looking at things from just an APY standpoint (guarantees would obviously be important) a deal for $11M per season would put Wagner just barely inside of the top 10 highest-paid linebackers in the NFL. Tennessee’s Zach Cunningham is currently ninth in APY at $11M per season.
That price seems awfully rich for a Cowboys team who’s highest-paid linebacker is second-year Micah Parsons. At the time of this writing Over The Cap has the Cowboys with $15.7M in salary cap space, but they could create a bit more if they truly had to. Obviously the longer that Wagner is on the market the higher odds are that his asking price could come down, a tactic that we have seen work in the past for the Cowboys and other NFL teams.