Bobby Wagner was one of the Rams’ prized additions of the offseason, signing him as a free agent after the Seahawks released him. It was a unique situation not only because Wagner got the opportunity to return home to Los Angeles, but also because he represented himself as his own agent – and it was his first time as a free agent, making it a new experience for the longtime Seahawk.
The Rams weren’t the only team interested in Wagner, but they always made sense as a landing spot. On the latest episode of his podcast, “Straight off the Press,” Jalen Ramsey talked to Wagner about his free agency decision and the process of joining the Rams.
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“As soon as it happened, my first mindset was I wanted to stay on the West Coast,” Wagner said. “I didn’t want to go too far. … As things start playing out, we had a lot of East Coast teams interested, but the Rams were interested as well. I was kind of pulling for the Rams and hoping it would work out because I wanted to be home.”
While Wagner is thrilled to be a member of the Rams, he said there were times when he thought it wasn’t going to happen.
“There was a couple times I thought the door was closed. And I was like, ‘All right, let me move on because I couldn’t just sit there and wait.’ Every time I thought the door closed, somebody hit me up and was like, ‘Don’t sign nowhere else. We’re gonna work this out.’
“I wasn’t necessarily waiting (on the Rams). You’re kind of just looking. I’m doing my thing. Obviously, because I represent myself, I’m calling, I’m doing all these different things. But I’m looking over there, I’m watching the moves, I’m watching Von didn’t sign over there. I’m watching A-Rob signs there. So I was paying attention to it.”
As his own agent, Wagner had to be proactive in establishing relationships with general managers around the league because he didn’t have an agent to do that for him. So he began sending texts to GMs around the NFL to connect with them.
Some GMs actually thought his texts were a joke and that they didn’t come from Wagner himself.
“This time, because I was free, I had to talk to all the GMs. But I also had to establish a relationship because either everybody didn’t know or forgot that I represented myself. I got all the GMs’ numbers and I sent a text to every GM, like, ‘Hey, this is Bobby. Representing myself.’”
Ramsey joked that he put all the GMs in the group text, but Wagner said that’s not what happened.
“Individually, but it was funny because at first, I wasn’t getting no texts back, so I’m like, ‘Dang, is nobody interested?’ After a day or so, I started getting text messages and calls, and every GM that hit me – even Les – was like, ‘We thought this was a joke. We didn’t think this was really your number.’”
Ramsey and Wagner talk more in-depth about the process of a player being his own agent, Wagner’s free agency decision, their post-football goals and the opportunities that Los Angeles presents players for life after football.
Check out the full conversation below.