Seen by many as the best right tackle on the free agent market this offseason, Ricky Wagner is expected to be highly sought this offseason with many experts projecting that Wagner will blow the lid off the right tackle market. With Jordan Mills hitting free agency as well, the Buffalo Bills look to be firmly in the race to sign Wagner, potentially making him the highest paid right tackle in the process.
Taking Philadelphia’s Lane Johnson out of the equation due to his future as a left tackle for the team, the current highest paid right tackle in the league would be Green Bay’s Bryan Bulaga at $6.75 million per season. Wagner not only will be looking to surpass that, but will likely blow that total away once the bidding is done. Some folks even believe that Wagner could land a deal in the $8 million per year range.
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While this may be seen as a lot of money for a non-left tackle contract, Ricky Wagner is the real deal at what he does. At only 27 years of age, Wagner has already been rated inside the top twenty of NFL tackles — both left and right side — while his durability has also provided him with some major plusses due to the fact that he has only missed two games since taking over as the starter in Baltimore.
Using the run game to full effect last season, many fans and experts from Buffalo noted the subpar play of the offensive line. Seen as a strength heading into the 2016 season, the Bills’ offensive line had many issues due to its lack of depth and poor starting play. The addition of Wagner would immediately serve as an improvement over Jordan Mills while also bolstering the team’s pass and run blocking.
Though the Bills may have the most upside of the teams chasing Wagner, the market for him will be extremely fierce. Teams like the Vikings, Bears, and Lions all will be in the hunt for Ricky Wagner. With so many teams needing the talented right tackle, his price will be sure to soar, making some general managers balk at the type of price that will be payed for a right tackle.
With the Bills in need of some improvement on the offensive line, I would love to see the team sign Ricky Wagner. While he may be an expensive signing, his durability and age make him worth the price. Solidifying the offensive line, Buffalo could then turn their attention elsewhere for the remaining part of this offseason.