The Los Angeles Rams made a major splash in free agency this past offseason when they signed Bobby Wagner to a five-year $50 million contract.
The eight-time Pro Bowler was a surprising addition to the free-agent market after the Seattle Seahawks suddenly released him in March.
Wagner expressed his displeasure about the decision as he had no intention to leave the franchise that selected with the 47th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. However, the 32-year-old was excited about the opportunity to play for his hometown team.
With the Rams set to play the Seahawks in Week 13, Wagner revealed he is approaching the matchup like any other game, per Gilbert Manzano of the Southern California News Group:
“I am a mature man and that happened a long time ago,” Wagner said when asked if he has any hard feelings toward the Seahawks. “So, I am focused on performing at my best ability against the team that I’m playing this week.
“It’s just another game. It’s just a game coming up played in our stadium against a team that’s pretty good.”
Wagner has no plans to greet his former Seahawks teammates but won’t snub them if they come up to him first:
“I’m sure they’ll come up,” Wagner said about greeting his former colleagues before and after the game. “I’m sure they’ll come up, I’m sure I’ll say something afterwards. At the end of the day, we’re still competing, so whatever happens, happens. There’s not really a set plan on saying, ‘What’s up?’ I’m just going to go about my routine. Obviously, I’m a kind person. I’m not going to stiff-arm anybody per se.”
Wagner wasn’t the only franchise icon the Seahawks parted with this past offseason. The team also traded Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos.
While those moves signaled the start of a rebuilding phase, the Seahawks enter Sunday with a respectable 6-5 record, which is good for second in the NFC West. The Rams, meanwhile, sit in last place with a 3-8 record.
Wagner has been one of the few bright spots in what has been a trying season, having compiled 90 tackles, three sacks and three passes defended through 11 games.