Working on the IDP projections for the magazine, I struggle with ranking Bobby Wagner. On the one hand, he has a foot in the grave in NFL player terms. But on the other, he just keeps producing, defying all odds of what's capable from older guys.

Wagner turns 34 next month, and has essentially been written off by NFL teams the last few years, in the sense that they keep kicking him to the curb. He'll be with his fourth team in the last four seasons, signing with Washington back in March. But the future Hall of Famer (I think being a six-time All-Pro ensures you're getting there) hasn't made anyone regret signing him yet.

Wagner has missed all of two games since 2015, and in that 8-year span he's not only had more tackles than any other linebacker, he's had almost 300 more (Wagner: 1228; Eric Kendricks, Demario Davis and Lavonte David all in the 900s). And it doesn't seem like age is much of an impediment. His 183 last season led the NFL.

Using the search tools as pro-football-reference.com, I took a look at how many old man linebackers have been able to put up that kind of production in recent years. Wagner is a rarity, but he's not totally alone. It happens, and I don't see any reason to think he doesn't have at least another year of good tackle numbers.

Over the past decade, I found 18 linebackers aged 32 or older who racked up 100-plus tackles in a season, so about 2 per year. Last year was a good year for it, with Wagner one of three players of that age who went over 120. (Those 2023 players are in bold.) Twelve of the 18 players on the table chipped in some respectable playmaking, too, recording 3-plus sacks.

100-TACKLE LINEBACKERS, 2014-2023 (AGE 32 OR OLDER)
YearPlayerAgeSoloAstTotalSk
2023Bobby Wagner, Sea.3396871833.5
2015D'Qwell Jackson, Ind.3289611503.0
2022Bobby Wagner, LAR3281591406.0
2023Lavonte David, T.B.3386481344.5
2016Paul Posluszny, Jac.3297361331.5
2014Daryl Smith, Balt.3267601271.0
2022Lavonte David, T.B.3280441243.0
2023Demario Davis, N.O.3474471216.5
2015Daryl Smith, Balt.3372491213.0
2015Derrick Johnson, K.C.3395211164.0
2016Karlos Dansby, Cin.3569451141.0
2018Wesley Woodyard, Ten.3269441134.5
2019Thomas Davis, LAC3665471121.0
2022Demario Davis, N.O.3354551096.5
2015Karlos Dansby, Cle.3462461080.0
2016Thomas Davis, Car.3373331062.5
2021Demario Davis, N.O.3270351053.0
2015Thomas Davis, Car.3275301055.5

The music will stop eventually, but I think Wagner will still be a force this season for those fantasy managers who use IDPs. I will not be calling him too old to deliver strong numbers again.

--Andy Richardson