The Rams are in their transition to become the Los Angeles Rams. They won’t have linebacker James Laurinaitis, defensive end Chris Long or tight end Jared Cook.
They’ve all been released by the Rams in a cost-saving moves. The Rams are saving $24.375 million on their salary cap.
However, they’ll carry $4.7 million in dead cap space.
“This is the time of [the] year when all NFL teams are faced with difficult decisions regarding their veteran players,” Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said. “Chris and James are the epitome of what it means to be a pro in this league and it’s been an honor to coach them both.
“They’ve been the pillars of our defense for many years and not enough can be said of their love for the game and for their teammates. Beyond the field, they took pride in mentoring the younger players and doing their part to make a real difference in the St. Louis community. We will always be grateful for James’ and Chris’ unselfish commitment to the Rams and wish them the best moving forward.”
With this new added cap space, the team hopes that they can re-sign their own defensive back free agents Janoris Jenkins, Truman Johnson, Rodney McLeod and Mark Barron.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, Long only had four sacks over the past two seasons. In 2012 and 2013, he had 20 sacks, including an 11.5 sacks in 2012.
The 4.0 sacks were tied for 101st amongst players at this position. From 2010 to 2013, he had 41.5 sacks, which was fifth among defensive lineman.
Laurinaitis got a first-hand notice as he was working out at the team facility when he was called into Fisher’s office.
“I was surprised by it,” he said. “I was shocked at first, but I also know this is a business and when you start to move toward the front of the parking space and get a little older, all those people in front of you have left so you are not any different than anybody else who is getting up there. I’m going into Year 8 and I’m still 29 and I still feel like I’m playing at a productive level. I was a little shocked from that point of view but man other than that, it’s a business.
“I have seen a lot of things and seen a lot of people go. I have been grateful to have seven-years with the same team. That’s rare in and of itself. I’m not bitter about that. Just a little surprised it happen this year, but that’s football.”
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