Although the Green Bay Packers have not made significant waves during the early portion of the Free Agent negotiation period, their rivals in the NFC North are not joining in with the Packers’ silence. In fact, the Detroit Lions are reported to be the landing spot for one of this year’s top free agent players.
That individual is offensive tackle Ricky Wagner, formerly of the Baltimore Ravens. Wagner, a native of West Allis who played left tackle for the Wisconsin Badgers in college, was a 5th-round pick of the Ravens’ in 2013, the same draft in which the Packers selected David Bakhtiari in round four. Wagner spent his rookie year as a backup, but has started at right tackle for each of the past three seasons, missing just two games.
The report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter indicates that the Lions are expected to sign Wagner when the new league year begins on Thursday at 4 PM Eastern.
This would give the Lions bookend tackles from Big Ten schools; they drafted left tackle Ohio State’s Taylor Decker in the first round of last year’s draft, and are in the market for a starting tackle to replace Riley Reiff, who is a free agent and was not expected to re-sign.
The market for Wagner is strong, and reports from earlier this week indicated that he was likely to set a new record for the average contract value given to a starting right tackle. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com has reported that his deal will likely exceed $9 million per season.