The LA Chargers have many different directions to take this offseason. The team has cap space to spend and draft capital to use to shore up the several holes on the roster ahead of the 2022 season. It is tremendously important that the Chargers make the right moves as the team looks to open a Super Bowl window in the second year of the Brandon Staley and Justin Herbert relationship.
While Tom Telesco is not the most aggressive general manager in the league, he has made some trades in the past. In 2020 he got really aggressive by trading Russell Okung for Trai Turner and trading up in the 2020 NFL Draft. With this offseason being even more important than that offseason, we could see aggressive Telesco again.
Hopefully, Telesco is not aggressive to the point where he makes a proposed 'ideal' trade for Bobby Wagner, though. Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report broke down all 32 teams' ideal trade scenario for the 2022 offseason and according to him, the Bolts' 'ideal' scenario is to trade for the former All-Pro linebacker.
With all due respect to Ballentine, we have to disagree.
The LA Chargers trading with the Seahawks for Bobby Wagner would be awful.
In his prime, Bobby Wagner was one of the best, if not the best, inside linebackers in the league. However, the problem is that Wagner is no longer at his best and that is the entire reason why the Seahawks would theoretically want to trade him. If Wagner was still elite then Seattle would not be shopping him.
Wagner has a massive cap hit for the 2022 season of $20.35 million but the Seahawks can free up $16.6 million of that cap hit by trading him or cutting him before June 1. Obviously, it would be better for Seattle to trade him rather than cut him as they would get some kind of asset for him.
The asset would not even be that big, either. The Chargers (or any team for that matter) could probably land Bobby Wagner for a fourth-round pick at the most. If Seattle is so willing to take his contract off the books, they may even accept less.
With ample cap space and multiple compensatory picks later in the draft, it might make sense for the Chargers to add a veteran like Wagner to help shore up the linebacker position and help against the run. Not at his cost.
Bobby Wagner is going to be 32 in June and is coming off the worst season of his career. Granted, he was still pretty good but it is obvious that the regression is in motion with Wagner. At this point, he and Kyzir White are on a similar level as players. So why would the Chargers pay a regressing player $20 million for one season when they can lock down an ascending player for multiple seasons at half the annual cost?
It would be horrible business. Sure, you could argue that the Chargers could trade for Wagner and still sign White but that is pouring too many resources into the linebacker room. $30 million for linebackers is not how you build a well-rounded team.
If Wagner gets cut and he is willing to come to LA on a small deal then he makes sense. At his price point (heck, at half his price point), he makes no sense for the Bolts and is less than ideal.