Bobby Wagner reveals tipping point behind high-profile Commanders' switch

The All-Pro linebacker spoke about his move to the nation's capital.
Bobby Wagner
Bobby Wagner / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

For all the signings made by the Washington Commanders throughout a frenzied period of activity under general manager Adam Peters, convincing linebacker Bobby Wagner to join this exciting project was the most high-profile by a considerable margin. Something that caused a stir league-wide and represented a major statement of intent by the franchise for good measure.

Wagner is one of the all-time greats. He's way past his prime, but there remains plenty to like about his chances of making his presence felt on and off the field with a Commanders team that will rely upon the veteran heavily during their first season under Dan Quinn in 2024.

Bobby Wagner lifts the lid on Commanders move

During an appearance on the Up and Adams Show with Kay Adams, Wagner revealed the tipping point behind his switch to the nation's capital. This centered on his previous familiarity with Quinn's schematic demands and the presence of Ken Norton Jr. - a man he deeply respects - also part of Washington's accomplished staff team.

"I think the biggest thing for me is I've always been on the West Coast, so coming to the East Coast you want to be around some familiar faces. So obviously, I had a ton of respect for him [Dan Quinn] from afar. We actually tried to make it happen a couple of times, it just didn't work out structurally from a contract perspective, but we finally got it right. I think him as a leader, him as a person has always been amazing. I think a big thing too was being able to be coached by coach [Ken] Norton again. He's like my favorite coach of all time, so being back in the room with him again is great too."

This previous connection and the esteem in which Wagner holds this staff represents a solid platform from which to build. The future Pro Football Hall of Famer has already drawn rave reviews from teammates such as Sam Cosmi and Frankie Luvu. Hopefully, this trend can continue in the coming months before the time for competitive action arrives.

Wagner isn't getting any younger and has lost a step in coverage, but Quinn will know exactly how best to utilize the player's skill set at this late stage of his career. The fact he gained a career-high in tackles with a whopping 183 with the Seattle Seahawks last season indicates he is far from done.

If the Dallas Cowboys weren't willing to give Wagner the money he deserved in recent seasons, the Commanders were more than willing to oblige. They needed to desperately reinforce their linebacking corps this offseason. After some outstanding moves made by Peters during free agency and the draft, this position group should go from a problematic weak link to one of the team's strengths in double-quick time.

Wagner's accomplishments speak for themselves. If he can maintain high-performance levels and raise the standards of others, it'll be an outstanding piece of business by the Commanders. One that can help them rise from obscurity to potentially surprise people in 2024.

Having Quinn and Norton around only increases the expectations surrounding Wagner. Hopefully, they can bring their previous success together to the nation's capital en route to a profitable campaign.