Agency business: delving deep into Bobby Wagner’s deal with free agent with Rams Super Cup champion

Inner linebacker Bobby Wagner has gained more experience for his quest to become president of the NFL team after his career, concluding his own contract for the second time in his NFL career. The dynamics were different than when Wagner agreed to a three-year contract extension for $ 54 million averaging $ 18 million a year with the Seahawks in 2019 to become the NFL’s highest paid linebacker.

Wagner, who turns 32 in June, this time had to focus on the open market because the Seahawks released him a few days before the start of the free agency, instead of paying him $ 16.6 million in 2022 with a salary limit of 20.35 million dollars. He learned that NFL teams are afraid to make serious financial commitments to older players in positions without premiums, regardless of performance. Last season, the 10-year veteran made 170 selections, while receiving the eighth consecutive selection in the Pro Bowl and the second All-Pro team.

Wagner’s deal

Wagner has signed a five-year contract for $ 50 million worth up to $ 65 million through incentives from Reims. It is reported that the future member of the Hall of Fame has abandoned a long-term contract with the Ravens, which contains $ 18 million, which is guaranteed to remain near the house. Wagner is originally from Ontario, California, located 50 miles east of SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, where the Rams home games are held.

The contract contains $ 20 million in guarantees, of which $ 10 million is fully guaranteed upon signing. The Wagner subscription bonus of $ 5 million, the base salary in 2022 of $ 1.5 million and the bonus for the fifth day of the 2023 championship include fully guaranteed money. Technically the bonus on the list is guaranteed for skill and injury when signing up, and the salary limit guarantee comes on April 8th. The bonus on the list has no compensation.

The remaining $ 10 million is provided by Wagner’s base salary of $ 7.5 million in 2023 and $ 2.5 million for the fifth day of the 2024 premium. Both are guaranteed injury upon signing, and they become fully guaranteed in March next year on the fifth day of the 2023 Championship.

Wagner’s base salary is $ 8.5 million in 2024 and 2026. His base salary in 2025 is $ 8 million. In 2025 and 2026 there are also bonuses of $ 2.5 million for the fifth day of the championship.

The agreement provides $ 3 million in annual incentives, and $ 2 million is based on Wagner’s playing time and Reims’ performance. Wagner earns $ 250,000 each for 80% or more of the defensive time of the game, and the Rams improve their league rankings by allowed points, overall defense or average net yards, refusing to play a pass totaling $ 750,000. Taking at least 90% of Rams’ defensive shots costs $ 500,000. Reaching the game threshold while the Rams reach the playoffs earns an additional $ 750,000.

Each season, a million are tied to the Wagner Awards. Wagner earns $ 500,000 for being selected to the Pro Bowl and Rams, improving his league rankings from the 2021 season on points allowed, overall defense or average net yards per pass. Instead, it’s $ 1 million for the All-Pro / All-NFL first team from the Associated Press, Pro Football Writers of America or Sporting News.

Wagner has the right to cancel contracts for 2024, 2025 and 2026. To be able to come out of the last three years, he must play at least 90% of Rams ’defensive shots in 2022 and 2023 or earn Pro Bowl awards in both seasons.

There were questions about how Rams was able to acquire Wagner when news emerged last week that he had agreed to the terms. According to the NFLPA, Rams had just over $ 8.7 million from the 2022 salary cap before signing with him. Wagner’s figure for 2022 is only $ 2.5 million ($ 1 million proportional bonus and $ 1.5 million base salary).

A modest $ 5 million bonus allows the Rams to withdraw from the deal after one season before an additional $ 10 million is fully guaranteed on the fifth day of the 2023 Championship with minimal repercussions if Wagner’s skills begin to decline rapidly this season. Wagner’s figure in 2023 is $ 12 million, while Reims will receive a cap of $ 7.5 million if he stays in Los Angeles for a very short time.

In that case, Wagner would have concluded an annual deal of $ 10 million because the bonus on the list for March 2023 has no compensation. The lack of compensation does not allow the Rams to reduce Wagner’s $ 3.5 million indebtedness in the event of a release for the amount of his new deal with another team. Wagner will get into a “double drop” where he will receive $ 3.5 million from the Rams in addition to the full salary under a new contract with another club. With the credit, Wagner will have a one-year contract for $ 6.5 million, because the Rams will be able to return him $ 3.5 million as a result of his next contract. It is assumed that none of the incentives in this worst case will fail.

How Much Money Does Wagner’s Incentives Make?

Wagner described the incentives as “achievable” in a CNBC interview with Jabari Young. The intention is for Wagner to stay on the field every time and connect him with third-round Ernest Jones of 2021 as an internal midfielder.

Incentives needed in order to qualify as earnings (NLTBE) so that there are no marginal costs during the season given the Rams salary limitations. Any incentive based on what Wagner or Rams achieved statistically in the 2021 season is considered likely to be earned and immediately credited to the wage limit, and what was not achieved in 2021 is not initially taken into account. Wagner’s playing time in 2021 was 89.1%, so a separate threshold is 90% of the playing time.

Linking individual and team achievements together also classifies incentives as NLTBEs. The three easiest achievable categories of teams based on the Rams ’results in 2021 are those in Wagner’s contract. Last season, the Rams ranked 15th, 15th and 17th in terms of points allowed, average clean yards released for a pass and overall defense. Incentives to improve game / team time are based on performance bonuses in the extension of linebacker Alec Ogletry, signed with Rams in 2017, except that his playing time threshold was 85% instead of Wagner’s 80%.

Wagner has a legitimate chance of earning $ 2 million annually as bonuses for Rams ’playback / performance provided he stays healthy and remains a linebacker. For the past five seasons (2017-21) Wagner has been on the field for 94.5% of games in Seattle’s defense.

Wagner will need to have a similar career trajectory outside of the linebacks introduced to the Hall of Fame in recent years to receive any of the awards. Ray Lewis was selected in the Pro Bowl during each season at a time when Wagner had signed with Rams (32 to 36). At 33 and 34, he was the first All-Pro team. Brian Urlacher was a Pro Bowler at 32 and 33. Derrick Brooks ’last selection for the first All-Pro team came when he was 32. He went to the Pro Bowl when he was 32, 34 and 35 years old. Last winner Sam Mills, 37, was named the first All-Pro team.

It is possible that Wagner will have the right to withdraw from his contract. Given Wagner’s age this year, he has been trying to earn more than $ 32.5 million with additional incentives of $ 9 million over the last three years of this open market contract two years later for the 34, 35 and 36 seasons. , would be a risky proposition. If Wagner maintains his level of play, he may be able to use the void to better structure the last three years, where there is extra security and some, if not all, incentives are invested in the base price of the deal.

Concluding remarks

The cost of Wagner’s contract will depend on how he continues to perform. It’s a one-year deal for $ 10 million at worst. As long as Wagner will still be at Reims in March next year after the fifth day of the 2023 Championship, he is assured of $ 20 million under contract. Keeping Wagner at the current level of the game for a long period of time should allow him to get into the final years of his contract. If so, it’s hard to imagine that Wagner wouldn’t have a real opportunity to earn at least $ 2 million a year.

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