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Reports: Rick Wagner Agrees To Terms With Lions


It looks like the Ravens will need a new right tackle.

Rick Wagner has agreed to terms with the Detroit Lions, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, that makes him the highest-paid right tackle in the NFL – by far.

Free agency doesn't open until 4 p.m. Thursday, so teams can't officially ink players until then. However, teams are reaching agreements in principle. The Lions have not confirmed the news.

According to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, Wagner's deal will eclipse $9 million per year, which would set a new high at the position. Previously, the highest-paid right tackle in the league was Green Bay's Bryan Bulaga at $6.75 million per year.

By multiple media accounts, Wagner was highly coveted. The Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings, Houston Texans and Cleveland Browns were all rumored to be interested before the Lions got him.

Wagner, 27, has been the Ravens' starting right tackle the past three seasons. He has been a steady player over that time, and was graded as the NFL's ninth-best right tackle last season by Pro Football Focus.

Head Coach John Harbaugh said last week at the combine that the Ravens had extended a “very competitive” offer to Wagner, but, much like what happened last offseason with left guard Kelechi Osemele and the Oakland Raiders, another team may have dwarfed expectations.

At $9 million per season, Wagner would have the second-highest base salary on the Ravens roster behind quarterback Joe Flacco. Ravens Pro Bowl right guard Marshal Yanda has a base salary of $6 million.

Part of the reason why Wagner's price may have taken off, besides the increase in the salary cap, is the lack of elite offensive tackles in this year's draft class. Tackle-needy teams may have been willing to spend more.

Baltimore will now add starting right tackle to its list of needs.

The Ravens offered restricted free agent James Hurst an original-round tender, so he could compete for the starting job next season. Hurst has 16 regular-season starts under his belt and made the transition to the right side last year. Baltimore also likes the upside of young, 6-foot-6 tackles De'Ondre Wesley and Stephane Nembot.

Baltimore found Wagner in the fifth round out of Wisconsin in 2013, so the Ravens could turn to the draft to find a replacement, and there will be other tackles to hit free agency in the coming days and months.

Wagner's high salary in Detroit could land the Ravens a third-round compensatory pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, though many factors will play into whether that comes to fruition.

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