New England Patriots Rumors: 2 recently released LB’s who could help out

Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Jordan Hicks (58) Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Jordan Hicks (58) Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /
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New England Patriots
Bobby Wagner #54 of the Seattle Seahawks (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /

New England Patriots linebacker free agent target No. 1: Bobby Wagner

The linebacker market really got flipped on its head yesterday when it was announced the Seattle Seahawks were parting ways with Bobby Wagner. Wagner was caught in the crossheirs from the blockbuster trade that saw the Seahawks trade quarterback Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos. Now arguably the best linebacker of the past 10 years is set to switch teams for the first time in his career.

Let’s make one thing clear; the Seahawks did not cut Wagner because his production dropped off. Wagner was as productive as ever in his tenth season, and even picked up a career high 170 tackles despite missing pretty much all of the last two games of the season. Wagner is still at the top of his game, and he’s going to have a number of suitors now that he is available.

The Patriots may end up losing pretty much of all their linebacker corps this offseason. Replacing them with Wagner wouldn’t necessarily be the worst idea ever. Wagner can immediately slot in as the leader on defense, and his skills against both the run and pass would be a major help. Adding Wagner could allow the Patriots to temporarily delay the need to draft and develop a young linebacker through the draft.

In terms of money, Wagner is going to be expensive for a linebacker. He’s probably going to be looking for a shorter term deal too, and he could end up making as much as $10 million per year if he chooses to ink a multiyear deal. He’s going to be 32 next season yes, but he has shown virtually no signs of regression to this point, meaning there’s no reason to not fork over whatever it takes to get him.

Next. 3 Bengals the Patriots should target in free agency. dark

Whereas adressing the linebacker vacancy was expected to take multiple moves this offseason, Wagner could be the one stop solution. Granted, they would need to bring in a couple lower levels guys yes, but they wouldn’t have to worry about drafting a linebacker early, which is how things look to be trending currently. Wagner is still a transcendent linebacker, and the New England Patriots should do what it takes to bring him to Foxboro.