As NFL star Bobby Wagner has agreed a $ 65 million deal with Reims

Bobby Wagner № 54 from an interview with the Seattle Seahawks after training at a training camp on July 29, 2021 in Renton, Washington.

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NFL defender Bobby Wagner wanted another challenge as he prepares for life after football. He thus introduced himself to the free agent market in 2022 after he was released by the Seattle Seahawks with austerity.

On Monday, the 31-year-old Wagner agreed to a five-year contract with the Los Angeles Rams, which could cost up to $ 65 million. The agreement includes incentives for the team and players that Wagner said they are “achievable”. He called it “a victory for me and a victory for them.”

In an interview with CNBC on Monday night, Wagner discussed his new contract and explained why he was again negotiating terms without the use of an agent. This is not the first time Wagner has decided to give up representation, but he acknowledged that this time was more difficult.

“But,” he said, “I always try to challenge myself not only on the football field, but also outside the football field.”

Postponing emotions

“The crazy part of it all,” Wagner tweeted on March 11, “I’ve been playing there for 10 years and I haven’t even heard from them that I’m not coming back.”

That response appeared on Twitter a few days after reports emerged that the Seahawks would release eight-time Pro Bowl defender. The main step saved the team $ 16 million. The club, which plays in the NFC West along with the Rams, is recovering. They also traded quarterback Russell Wilson, who won the Super Bowl, for the Denver Broncos. Head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider took the blame for the lack of contact with Wagner.

On Monday night, Wagner explained his frustration with how the Seahawks handled the case.

“I never had any intention of leaving,” Wagner told CNBC. “I’ve been planning to play there my whole career. So when that happens, you’re disappointed, and then you add the way you learned, you’re even more disappointed.” Wagner added that he “took a minute to let go of his feelings and then shut up.”

Asked to comment on the matter, a Seahawks spokesman wrote to CNBC by e-mail: “Great player, I wish him all the best.”

The Seahawks selected Wagner in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft. He has been presenting himself in contract negotiations since 2015, when he struck a $ 43 million deal with the Seahawks.

However, this time it was different.

“The first time was a little easier because I knew the team, the grandmaster and the history of the club,” Wagner said. “The free agency this time was a little different because you have to appeal to all the grandmasters – it was another challenge I wanted to take on.”

The NFL Players Association maintains a contact list of general managers. “Wagner got the list and started sending text messages and emails reminding the teams that I represent myself and that’s how they can contact me if they want my services,” he said.

Jeremy McNichols № 28 of the Tennessee Titans fights Bobby Wagner № 54 of the Seattle Seahawks in the fourth quarter at Lumen Field on September 19, 2021 in Seattle, Washington.

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Inside the deal is $ 65 million

Wagner said he studied past contracts, player statistics and current NFL deals for full-fledged defenders to help determine his value. Another stigma he had to overcome was age.

Wagner said senior linebacks are not rated correctly because of age, as teams prefer younger players. But he referred to other Pro Bowl linebacks who had played “far over 31 years,” including Baltimore Ravens icon Ray Lewis, who retired at age 37. Other greats at the club are over 31: former Rams linebacker London Fletcher and New Orleans Saints Pro Bowler Sam Mills played under 38, and Tampa Bay Hall of Fame member Buccaneers Derrick Brooks played under 35.

“There is an opinion that you can’t play as much as you want,” Wagner said.

Teams, including the Ravens and Dallas Cowboys, stretched. During the negotiations, the teams had to overcome the “idea that if they send something low or send something that may be unattractive to me, it will be insulting,” Wagner said.

“I felt I was in a good situation when I knew how to deal with my emotions and what stage of my career I was at,” he added. “I just wanted to get the right deal for me.”

Frames offered the deal.

Wagner’s contract is indeed a five-year deal worth $ 50 million, which could reach $ 65 million if he reaches incentives. These include that Wagner plays in 90% of defensive sheaves; The Rams reach the playoffs and finish the defense in the top five. Other additional services include nearly $ 10 million in the bonus list and another Pro Bowl option, according to the Spotrac website, which tracks sports contracts.

“These are very achievable incentives,” he said. Wagner added that he needs to study team pay limits to “know which team you’re working with. Some teams don’t have limit places, and some don’t have the flexibility to work with numbers. Ultimately, you have to create your own market.”

The deal for the Rams Super Cup champion also met other criteria: Wagner, a native of Los Angeles, could play near home. And he also plans to stay in Seattle.

Wagner also said he had a real flirtation with the Cowboys. “It was a real thing. We talked. I love [Cowboys defensive coordinator] Dan Quinn and I really respect him. But between their needs and what they were willing to spend, we couldn’t agree. But there was mutual interest, ”he said.

“Between Rams and the Cowboys are teams that have been around for a long time and have a long history,” Wagner added. “Being able to be a part of any of these franchises boosts your fame. And I came across one.”

Bobby Wagner № 54 of the Seattle Seahawks stretches ahead of the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambo Field on September 10, 2017 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

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Wagner aspires to be president of the NFL team

Discussing the decision to introduce himself, Wagner asked to end the story that there is “hostility or negativity” in the use of NFL agents. “After all, I’m not doing it to say I’m an agent. I’m doing it for growth.”

In addition, Wagner said he was able to build more relationships with NFL team leaders and learn more about the football business. The goal here is to position yourself as the future president of the team.

Wagner would have been one of the few black team presidents in NFL history if he had achieved that goal.

In 2020, the NFL added its first president of black teams, Washington Commanders Jason Wright. The Ravens hired the second in February 2022, bringing in NFL and NBA team leader Sasha Brown. And throughout the NBA’s professional basketball has dropped from seven top black team leaders in 2007 to three now. And MLB lost its first black CEO after Miami Marlins CEO Derek Jeter resigned.

Wagner noted that most players go on to coaching or in the media after their careers. But he aspires higher.

“This is the box you were put in,” Wagner said. “I’m not saying there’s something wrong with that, but that’s the box we get into. They put us in this box where we can’t be president or CEO, and it’s kind of, “Why can’t I if I understand the case?”

He went on to explain: “What happens to players is that we get stuck in our bubble. We get stuck in our world, and no matter how long you play – three years or 10 – we get so stuck and think the world is a certain way. And then when we get into the real world, we don’t feel anything but that we just join the football team ”.

Wagner added: “When I start with what I started, I understand the case and understand what is happening to me in the locker room, it makes me more valuable.”

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