THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – It's a happy homecoming for Bobby Wagner.
The new Rams linebacker, who was born in Los Angeles and attended Colony High School in Ontario, on Monday officially signed his contract, commemorating a full-circle moment.
"Feels great to be back home," Wagner told theRams.com after arriving at the team's facility on Monday. "I was just telling my dad, I hadn't played in this situation since high school, being able to be in front of my family and friends consistently. So it's fun. Obviously, the weather is a lot different in Seattle, so I'm looking forward to that."
Wagner arrives in L.A. after spending his first 10 NFL seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, who released him on March 12.
The Rams were not the only team interested in him once he became a free agent – he also reportedly visited the Baltimore Ravens last month – but it didn't take long for him to picture Los Angeles as his next NFL destination.
"I just think the love that I got from the coaches and the players," Wagner said, when asked what the deciding factor was in picking the Rams. "As soon as I got released, I had pretty much a lot of the players reach out to me and talk about playing together. And I just started to fall in love with idea."
Two of those players, Wagner told reporters in his introductory press conference Monday afternoon, included All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald and All-Pro defensive back Jalen Ramsey.
Combined, those three players account for 16 First-Team All-Pro selections and 21 Pro Bowl nods. Wagner said he's watched both Donald and Ramsey from afar, and would also watch them when the Seahawks played against them, and is looking forward to being teammates with them, as well as players like quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Cooper Kupp.
However, those aren't the only new teammates Wagner was well-aware of prior to his time with the Rams.
Linebacker Ernest Jones made a strong enough impression as a rookie to catch Wagner's attention, too.
"I'm very familiar with him," Wagner said. "When I watched the defense, he made a lot of plays, especially in that Super Bowl, he was making a lot of plays as well. So I'm excited to get in the room with him, learn from him and be in his presence and stuff like that and just try to build a great linebacking core."
When it comes to what Wagner wants to bring to the Rams' defense, it's simple.
"I want to bring leadership, I want to bring intellect and I want to bring another playmaker in the middle," Wagner said.
New Los Angeles Rams LB Bobby Wagner arrives to the Rams facility to sign his contract and meet coach Sean McVay, WR Cooper Kupp & more.