Bobby Wagner signing instantly legitimizes Commanders ambitious plans

Bobby Wagner
Bobby Wagner / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Bobby Wagner's decision to join the Washington Commanders instantly legitimizes their ambitious plans under Dan Quinn and Adam Peters.

The Washington Commanders wasted no time making a statement to kick off the new league year officially. It's been a frantic few days for the franchise. General manager Adam Peters has been putting his recruitment strategies into motion with a flurry of signings to solidify position groups in desperate need of reinforcements.

According to Ian Rapoport from the NFL Network, the Commanders have secured the services of perennial All-Pro linebacker Booby Wagner. It's a one-year deal with $6 million guaranteed and could be worth $8.5 million with incentives. This is a significant statement of intent and instantly legitimizes their ambitious plans.

Wagner might be 34 years old when the 2024 season begins, but he is still playing elite-level football. The former second-round selection was nothing short of outstanding for the Seattle Seahawks during the previous campaign, racking up 183 tackles and earning his ninth trip to the Pro Bowl. He was expected to draw interest from contending teams in free agency. Instead, he's opted to reunite with Dan Quinn in Washington.

Commanders signing Bobby Wagner has hidden benefits

Quinn and Wagner go way back. They worked together closely during their time together on the Seahawks. There is respect between the two, enough for the second-level enforcer to assist in Washington's quest to emerge from the proverbial NFL wilderness and back into contention.

There aren't many linebackers in recent league history with more credentials than Wagner. He's a six-time All-Pro and a Super Bowl winner. He made the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 2010s and boasts 1,706 career tackles. When the Utah State college product eventually hangs up his cleats, he'll be a first-ballot Pro Football Hall of Famer.

Wagner will command instant respect from the moment he walks into the locker room. He's still got a lot to offer on the field and his leadership off it will be equally as important. At the price, it's another tremendous piece of business from Peters and his staff.

The Commanders have made strengthening their defensive second level among the team's top priorities this offseason. Frankie Luvu was acquired from the Carolina Panthers, bringing ferocity and explosiveness that was sorely lacking. Jeremy Chinn - although listed as a safety - plays best in this area of the field and closer to the line of scrimmage. This fresh injection of energy and experience is exactly what Washington needs - something Quinn's renowned for utilizing to full effect.

This is going to make the league sit up and take notice. Wagner could have easily waited around for a team harboring immediate hopes of living the Super Bowl in 2024. He believed enough in Quinn and Peters' proposals to sign on the dotted line. That's going to help enormously if the Commanders want to attract other high-profile free agents in the days and weeks ahead.

A linebacking corps consisting of Wagner, Luvu, Chinn, and Jamin Davis comes with mouth-watering potential if the Commanders implement all four in this area. Ron Rivera completely devalued the linebacker spot. That's a mistake Quinn wasn't going to make.

Wagner is the total package and seems to have a lot of good football left. The magnitude of this signing cannot be overstated, especially if it makes others think twice about overlooking the Commanders and their exciting new regime.