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    Bobby Wagner next NFL team odds: Cowboys, Patriots, Chargers, Rams favorites to sign former Seahawks All-Pro linebacker

    One of the NFL's best linebackers, Bobby Wagner, is a free agent.
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    NFL free agency opens next week, and there's suddenly a future Hall of Fame linebacker available as the Seattle Seahawks released eight-time All-Pro Bobby Wagner, a member of the NFL's 2010s All-Decade team. Needless to say, there will be a frenzy for Wagner's services, but SportsLine oddsmakers favor the Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots, and Los Angeles Chargers and Rams to be his next team.

    While the Seahawks may not admit this publicly, they are clearly rebuilding now after trading Russell Wilson to Denver and then releasing Wagner shortly after Tuesday. How good was Seattle's 2012 NFL Draft? Wagner was a second-round pick out of Utah State and Wilson a third-rounder from Wisconsin (West Virginia pass-rusher Bruce Irvin was the team's first-round selection). Currently, only defensive end Benson Mayowa -- who left Seattle and returned in 2020 -- remains from the 2013 Seahawks team that won Super Bowl XLVIII.

    Wagner is a six-time first-team All-Pro and two-time second-team All-Pro, including in the 2021 season when he was named to an eighth straight Pro Bowl. Wagner was third in the NFL with a career-high 170 tackles, adding a sack, forced fumble and a pick. He's the prototypical middle linebacker who has been incredibly durable in his career, logging 900 or more defensive snaps in his last seven seasons. Seattle saved $16.6 million against its cap by releasing Wagner.

    It remains to be seen whether Wagner will chase the biggest contract possible coming up on age 32 or if his priority is winning a second Super Bowl ring. Pro Football Focus cap expert Brad Spielberger suggests Wagner could earn about $7 million-$10 million on a one-year contract.

    The Cowboys are the favorites to sign him as Dallas defensive coordinator Dan Quinn considers Wagner the greatest linebacker he ever coached and is expected to encourage the front office to sign him. Quinn was the DC in Seattle from 2013-14. Can you imagine Wagner next to Defensive Rookie of the Year Micah Parsons? Plus, Leighton Vander Esch is a free agent.

    Wagner is from the Los Angeles area, so both the Rams and Chargers make sense. The Rams clearly have shown they like star-chasing and are expected to lose linebacker Von Miller in free agency. The Rams have a need at inside linebacker next to Ernest Jones, who showed promise as a rookie last season. Rams GM Les Snead loved Wagner in 2012 and still regrets moving down from No. 45 to 50 in the second round of that draft in a trade with the Bears. Wagner went No. 47 to Seattle or may have been chosen by the Rams at No. 50.

    The Chargers were the NFL's third-worst team against the run in 2021 and Wagner would help fix that. While the Rams don't any cap space currently, the Chargers have the most in the NFL.

    New England has a need at linebacker with Dont'a Hightower and Ja'Whaun Bentley entering free agency and Kyle Van Noy released Monday. Current Patriots outside linebacker Matthew Judon already has "recruited" Wagner via Twitter.

    Linebacker is a major need for the Eagles, although historically the franchise has been reluctant to invest heavily at that position. Baltimore could be in play as well as the Ravens rework their defense under new coordinator Mike Macdonald.  

    Wagner and Wilson are friends and the Broncos could use linebacker help. Carolina isn't close to Super Bowl contention, but Panthers GM Scott Fitterer was the Seahawks' director of college scouting when Seattle drafted Wagner in 2012. The Dolphins have tons of cap space and players love Miami. 

    The start of the NFL's legal tampering period ahead of free agency is Monday. Signings can be official next Wednesday.

    Via SportsLine oddsmakers: Which team will sign Bobby Wagner?

    • Cowboys +200
    • Patriots +300
    • Chargers +500
    • Rams +600
    • Broncos +700
    • Eagles +800
    • Ravens +900
    • Panthers +1000
    • Dolphins +1200

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