Chris Long has been a mainstay for the Rams since the franchise selected him with the No. 2 pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. But the 30-year-old defensive end has played in just 18 games over the past two seasons thanks to injuries. Now, for the first time in his eight-year NFL career, he is a free agent.
On Friday the newly-minted Los Angeles Rams made a few big moves as they cut Long, middle linebacker James Laurinaitis and tight end Jared Cook. The cuts saved the team a whopping $24.375 million in cap space. The Rams are clearly set on a big makeover before their Hollywood debut this fall.
While Long has never put up huge numbers, he’s been a consistent, stout defensive end who is also a leader in the locker room and off the field. In 114 games, he has 54.5 career sacks, but has just four in the past two seasons.
Laurinaitis has been a tackling machine since the Rams drafted him out of Ohio State in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft. Since that time the stout middle linebacker is second only to Paul Posluszny in tackles league-wide
Cook was second on the Rams in receiving yards last year with 481, but only caught 39 passes and didn’t score a touchdown. The 28-year-old tight end has never lived up to the five-year, $35.11 million deal he signed as a free agent in 2013.
The Rams are making big moves, potentially opening up a lot of salary cap space to add free agents. But given head coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead’s track records, we could be in store for a common sight in the Rams’ new home: a bad facelift.