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Rams release Chris Long, James Laurinaitis and Jared Cook

SANTA CLARA, CA - JANUARY 03:  Blaine Gabbert #2 of the San Francisco 49ers is sacked by Chris Long #91 of the St. Louis Rams during their NFL game at Levi's Stadium on January 3, 2016 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Rams will head to Los Angeles without three veteran members of the team.

The team announced Friday that they have released defensive end Chris Long, linebacker James Laurinaitis and tight end Jared Cook. Long was the second overall pick of the 2008 draft and Laurinaitis joined the team in the second round of the 2009 draft, so both had long runs with the team before getting their walking papers.

“This is the time of year when all NFL teams are faced with difficult decisions regarding their veteran players,” Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher said in a statement. “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.”

Long said last month that he was open to redoing his contract to stay with the Rams, but it’s not clear if there were any discussions on that front before the team decided to move in another direction. Long battled injuries the last two seasons and had just four sacks after recording 50.5 of them in his first six seasons, a drop in production that left him “not surprised” to learn the news on Friday.

Laurinaitis never missed a game in seven seasons with the team and leaves the Rams as the franchise leader in tackles.

Cook signed with the team as a free agent in 2013 and Fisher credited him with making “an immediate impact” upon joining the team. That impact included a franchise record for most receiving yards by a tight end during his first year with the club.

The three moves will create a lot of cap space for the Rams. Long was set to count $14.25 million against the cap and the team will get nearly $12 million back as a result of his departure. Dropping Cook and Laurinaitis clears another $11 million-plus for the team to put toward building the first group of players for their second stay in L.A.

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102 Responses to “Rams release Chris Long, James Laurinaitis and Jared Cook”
  1. deepseabreeze says: Feb 19, 2016 2:58 PM

    Wow is all I can say.

  2. ctiggs says: Feb 19, 2016 2:59 PM

    WOW Call them up now Baalke we need all three!

  3. tennesseeoilers says: Feb 19, 2016 2:59 PM

    Jared Cook is a major under-achiever. So glad the Titans replaced him with Delanie Walker (our “other” good player).

    – Titans Fan

  4. atwatercrushesokoye says: Feb 19, 2016 2:59 PM

    I can’t believe Jeff Fisher is still there to make this announcement. They’ll never be a good team until they get rid of Captain Mediocrity.

  5. bassplucker says: Feb 19, 2016 3:00 PM

    Can Chris Long be effective in a 3-4? If he can, he may be Chicago bound to join his brother.

  6. packerjansen12 says: Feb 19, 2016 3:00 PM

    Seriously???? Cut their two best players and consumate pros from the past several years. The Rams can fall apart in LA for all I care.

  7. codythao35 says: Feb 19, 2016 3:02 PM

    Injury prone and not enough contributions on the field. Long can take pay cut to play with Vikings for Super Bowl trophy.

  8. thebirdofprey says: Feb 19, 2016 3:04 PM

    Chris Long and Laurinaitis have been solid professionals their whole careers. I have no clue what the NFLPA was thinking when they negotiated the CBA.

    Even if they can still produce teams are looking for younger guys for a fraction the cost.

  9. mrbgood315 says: Feb 19, 2016 3:04 PM

    Any & all of you would be welcome in Buffalo!

  10. ohand16 says: Feb 19, 2016 3:05 PM

    GREAT moves by the Rams. All about adding youth and athleticism

  11. shaggytoodle says: Feb 19, 2016 3:05 PM

    I can understand with the surplus of DL and an often injured Long with big Cap number wanting to move on from him, I can understand Jared Cook is a decent number 2 TE but the are asking number one production.

    I can’t believe cutting Laurinaitis is the best move for the Rams… he has been a solid player for several years… he should be able to catch on someplace else, with his size I would like to see th Packers consider taking a look at him if they are considering putting Matthews back on the outside. He deserves to play for a playoff team.

  12. 49erfan44 says: Feb 19, 2016 3:06 PM

    Who’s next? Quinn and Donald? Jeez.

  13. rabidbillsfan says: Feb 19, 2016 3:08 PM

    Lauranitis is a machine. Love the way the guy plays.

  14. schmitty2 says: Feb 19, 2016 3:09 PM

    Not surprised about Long as he was being paid way too much for his production and Cook is flat out terrible with brick hands and a lazy work ethic. Laurinaitis is the one that really shocks me. He is by no means an elite athlete but he is a great leader with great instincts that will give you 100+ tackles per year. This makes me think they are going to overpay Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson to stay with the team.

  15. davejsepdx says: Feb 19, 2016 3:10 PM

    Player holds out for more money, and he’s a selfish jerk who won’t honor his contract.

    Team cuts player mid-contract to save money, and, hey, football’s a business.

    Makes no sense.

  16. whiteybulgersson says: Feb 19, 2016 3:10 PM

    Come to New England!

    Jeff Fisher is a dolt.

  17. corzman69 says: Feb 19, 2016 3:11 PM

    Well, on the bright side, at least now they will not have to deal with the LA traffic.

  18. melsredmazda3 says: Feb 19, 2016 3:12 PM

    packerjansen12 says:
    Feb 19, 2016 3:00 PM
    Seriously???? Cut their two best players and consumate pros from the past several years. The Rams can fall apart in LA for all I care.

    they were not their two bet players.. lol.. good players but pass their good years..

  19. TB12RALLYCRY says: Feb 19, 2016 3:16 PM

    Im not LA fan but was looking forward to Long in a Raiders Uniform again………oh well……Belichick can find a spot for you in Foxboro

  20. huh6016 says: Feb 19, 2016 3:18 PM

    Is Gurley next??

  21. mropinionguy says: Feb 19, 2016 3:22 PM

    Lauranitis to GB.

  22. beckzhere says: Feb 19, 2016 3:24 PM

    Chris Long a Falcon??? DQ make it happen!

  23. rajbais says: Feb 19, 2016 3:25 PM

    I hate to piss Rams fans off, but it will not surprise me if Long’s replacement is Greg Hardy.

  24. bchap17 says: Feb 19, 2016 3:27 PM

    It’s April 1st already?

  25. gonakgod says: Feb 19, 2016 3:27 PM

    Making cap space for Peyton Manning IMO

  26. psousa1 says: Feb 19, 2016 3:31 PM

    Jeff Fisher has pictures on somebody……….

  27. captainwhodat says: Feb 19, 2016 3:31 PM

    appears the Rams are rebuilding again…move to LA makes perfect sense now…

  28. ddaniels11 says: Feb 19, 2016 3:35 PM

    Hey Jerra, get on the phone and bolster that D

  29. seatownballers says: Feb 19, 2016 3:37 PM

    Every one of them will find a new team before April. Watch as the rams go 6-10. Keep Fisher forever please

  30. patsfiend says: Feb 19, 2016 3:37 PM

    James, come provide some LB depth in New England, buddy. Someone’s got to fill Mayo’s spot.

  31. babygaga19 says: Feb 19, 2016 3:37 PM

    Raiders will be all over Long. They live in the past.

  32. nflrule says: Feb 19, 2016 3:38 PM

    How is Jeff Fisher still a coach in the NFL…should have been fired just for that moustache!

  33. txfinfan says: Feb 19, 2016 3:39 PM

    Lauranitis to South Beach!

  34. truthprofessor says: Feb 19, 2016 3:39 PM

    Lauranitis can have Mayo’s snaps. Seems a perfect Patriot, too!

  35. saveusterrelldavis says: Feb 19, 2016 3:39 PM

    PeyAton Manning time!

  36. majormalphunktion says: Feb 19, 2016 3:42 PM

    clearing space for a 1st round QB.

  37. raiderman81 says: Feb 19, 2016 3:44 PM

    Aren’t their Cbs FA’s also? Maybe saving space for a run at them?

    but if they lose the cbs as well as long and roadwarrior animal’s son … rams just took a hit

  38. beavertonsteve says: Feb 19, 2016 3:47 PM

    I didn’t think they would have enough money to bring back both Jenkins and Johnson. I guess they do now.

    Long tweeted that he “may never join the Rams in L.A.” so it sounds like is still open to the possibility.

  39. ninjapleazee says: Feb 19, 2016 3:48 PM

    Chicago has cap space for Long and Laurenitis.

  40. freebledsoe says: Feb 19, 2016 3:49 PM

    Laurinaitis will have a new team quickly as long as there aren’t undisclosed physical ailments. Still very solid

  41. nflofficeadmin says: Feb 19, 2016 3:50 PM

    Lets see if BB sniffs around either of the defensive players. James in particular.

  42. Youknowimright says: Feb 19, 2016 3:52 PM

    Just when I don’t think you can be any dumber than you are, you go ahead and……………completely redeem yourself.

    Obviously Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunn are running things in LA/St Louis. These guys will be out of work for about 30 seconds. Unless they retire and the way the NFL is going these days, who knows? This coupled will the Foles trade and signing solidifies this franchise as one of the worst in football. LA won’t help.

  43. sobceo says: Feb 19, 2016 3:53 PM

    Clearing space for RG3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  44. kcflake says: Feb 19, 2016 3:53 PM

    I will take Laurinitis on my Chiefs right now. Badass Player.

  45. kcflake says: Feb 19, 2016 3:54 PM

    Does Anyone Else wonder if the Rams know what they are doing? That is 3 Big Players to let go.

  46. thirdistheworrd says: Feb 19, 2016 3:57 PM

    As a die-hard Redskins homer, I have a lot of practice defending terrible ideas from the front office, but can anyone honestly say they view these moves as a good idea?

  47. suhmonster90 says: Feb 19, 2016 3:57 PM

    Well…. that escalated quickly

  48. dwhcic says: Feb 19, 2016 3:59 PM

    Laurinaitis can come to the Vikings.

  49. PFT-made-me-change-my-handle says: Feb 19, 2016 4:02 PM

    seatownballers says:
    Every one of them will find a new team before April. Watch as the rams go 6-10. Keep Fisher forever please
    Big talk after they go 2-0 against the ladyhawks

  50. henryjones20 says: Feb 19, 2016 4:05 PM

    PPL upset because they say they were the consummate if i show up to wk on time do what the coaches tell me and am a team player but I’m not producing or always hurt then I should be paid million and never be cut? hahahaha

  51. beedubyatoo says: Feb 19, 2016 4:11 PM

    Ted Thompson on line 1

  52. schmitty2 says: Feb 19, 2016 4:13 PM

    majormalphunktion says:
    Feb 19, 2016 3:42 PM

    clearing space for a 1st round QB.

    You don’t need 23 mil of freed up cap space to get a 1st round QB you dolt.

  53. blowfishes says: Feb 19, 2016 4:17 PM

    Laurinaitis is a Minnesota boy and would fill the void in the middle of the Vikings’ defense. Zimmer mentioned that he felt that Kendricks would suit the outside opposite Barr, so Laurinaitis would be great. The only issue with the Vikings signing him would be the unlikely need to sign him and Greenway together.

  54. coltzfan166 says: Feb 19, 2016 4:17 PM

    Wow. Well you can throw away any chance the Rams ever had of acquiring Peyton. He’s not playing for a team that doesn’t have a good defense (if he plays in 2016)

  55. homegrowntalentmn says: Feb 19, 2016 4:31 PM

    Cue the im coming home im coming home. James wont pass up a chance to play in minnesota with a great defensive minded coach in zimmer and above average defense. With holes at LB

  56. revren10 says: Feb 19, 2016 4:33 PM

    chris long should join the patriots, since they have the goat tom brady and the master mind belichick

  57. chalkruz1989 says: Feb 19, 2016 4:35 PM

    I am hoping Steve Spagnuolo established good relationships with Chris Long and James Laurinaitis when he was running the ship some years ago in St. Louis.

    Both linebacker and defensive end is a need for the New York Giants…maybe there’s hope to finally get a healthy linebacker that is a hard-nosed guy.

  58. daringhart13 says: Feb 19, 2016 4:38 PM

    Diehard Rams fan since 1977 here.

    Chris and James are very, very good dudes…. they make Ram’s fans proud. However, they are vastly overpaid. JLau should honestly consider coaching…. he has lost several steps and is a drag down tackler.

    Jared Cook was stealing money. He was a massive disappointment and underachiever in every way… including pushing his own QB with his own stone hands.

  59. bdunham2369 says: Feb 19, 2016 4:44 PM

    I would love Long to come to Detroit.

  60. wantsomecheesewiththatwhine says: Feb 19, 2016 4:46 PM

    if he can block, and is willing to do so, NE can use another pass catching tight end. chandler didn’t seem dependable enough

  61. mdintino1420 says: Feb 19, 2016 4:55 PM

    Hopefully the three players who replace the players released are upgrades. With a QB and WRs, the Rams need to get a better passing attack. Otherwise teams are going to stack the box to stop Gurley. No body is afraid of Foles or Keenum.

  62. motleytrap says: Feb 19, 2016 5:04 PM

    CL and JL still have good reps, I see. They’re both legit good guys who I’d sit with and have a beer anytime.

    But Long has four sacks in the last two years and arguably the team’s fifth best defensive lineman now. JL stays out every down but he was a below average player in 2015.

    We knew this was coming.

  63. fwippel says: Feb 19, 2016 5:04 PM

    None of them will be out of work very long….

  64. daramsman says: Feb 19, 2016 5:10 PM

    AS a Rams fan its the end of a bad era of football. Long and JL were great teammates and great leaders in the locker room and on the field. But played on some horrid teams. I am sure they will not be on the market long. But their play fell off like 3 years ago.

    But why isn’t Fisher leaving with them? Because as a Rams fan you just gotta just love his 7-9 8-8 seasons year after year. Fisher is finally on the hot seat.

  65. citiciti says: Feb 19, 2016 5:12 PM

    Laurinaitis to the Browns

  66. cranespy says: Feb 19, 2016 5:13 PM

    Bill Belechik on line 3

  67. dapollock69 says: Feb 19, 2016 5:15 PM

    They’re going to give Michael Sam another shot. Brilliant, coach Fisher!

  68. rramblingrram says: Feb 19, 2016 5:15 PM

    “As a die-hard Redskins homer, I have a lot of practice defending terrible ideas from the front office, but can anyone honestly say they view these moves as a good idea?”

    These moves are excellent moves!!! Long was no longer starting, JL has no range or bang, and Cook was underutilized and overpaid (They all were overpaid) The Rams will use the money to retain a good number of their free agents…The vast majority of Ram fans love the moves, it’s the fans of other teams that’s crying over them.

  69. ytownie says: Feb 19, 2016 5:16 PM

    Come back to Ohio James!

  70. joedirte says: Feb 19, 2016 5:34 PM

    Actually all three are players that are position s of need for the falcons.

  71. atntitan says: Feb 19, 2016 5:34 PM

    mr lauranitis my tennessee titans will pay u well….and u will continue to be a superstar!

  72. bert1913 says: Feb 19, 2016 5:45 PM

    the only reason why the Rams kept fisher so long, was so that it would be easier to move a bad team to la

  73. oldcracker says: Feb 19, 2016 5:48 PM

    Titans should look at Long to mentor Bosa.

    Browns should grab Laurinaitis.

    Rams should sign Greg Hardy, a real leader.

  74. adztheman says: Feb 19, 2016 5:48 PM

    Fischer was asked in his interview in St Louis about his tenure moving the Houston franchise to Tennessee.

    That’s why he’s coaching the soon as they have a solid base in L-A, including offices and a practice facility, his value to the franchise will be gone in a year or two.

    Lauranitis and Long still have maybe a year or two left in the tank…Cook was a bust in St. Louis.

    But damn, that clears a ton of cap space—for what? Who knows?

  75. Big Ant TV says: Feb 19, 2016 5:53 PM

    both of u can come too cleveland we a DE and LB upgrade please cut dansby

  76. lasher1650 says: Feb 19, 2016 5:54 PM

    packerjansen12 says:
    Feb 19, 2016 3:00 PM
    Seriously???? Cut their two best players and consumate pros from the past several years. The Rams can fall apart in LA for all I care.________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Guess you have never heard of Aaron Donald or Robert Quinn?

  77. voiceofrealism says: Feb 19, 2016 6:13 PM

    codythao35 says:
    Injury prone and not enough contributions on the field. Long can take pay cut to play with Vikings for Super Bowl trophy.
    …and never win one, like every Viking player ever.

  78. Frazier28/7 says: Feb 19, 2016 6:18 PM

    Barr- Laurinaitis – Kendricks.


  79. charliecharger says: Feb 19, 2016 6:30 PM

    Do these guys automatically become free agents where they are free to sign with any team, or do they go to waivers where certain teams get first look? If these guys are free agents, this would have to be very exciting news for them. The Rams are headed in the wrong direction.

  80. purpleandgoldforever says: Feb 19, 2016 6:44 PM

    Certainly being the son of Road Warrior Animal, James Laurinaitis can get work with the WWE!

  81. mrlaloosh says: Feb 19, 2016 6:58 PM

    I guess they resisted Gregg Williams’ bounty program. Too classy for the Rams.

  82. maurysline says: Feb 19, 2016 7:04 PM

    Cap hits are one thing but they didn’t even try to rework these guys contracts.

    And then add in that teams try to keep good players.

    While probably still serviceable in supporting roles the Rams are straight up saying that neither Long or JL are game changing type players any more.

  83. maestro1899 says: Feb 19, 2016 7:04 PM

    Jared Cook was such an awful signing. 5 yr, 35m??

  84. ninjapleazee says: Feb 19, 2016 7:33 PM

    Lol vikequeens talking as if their team is star studded dynasty. Lol

  85. chrisakacwill says: Feb 19, 2016 7:35 PM

    My Giants could use Laurinaitis. We need immediate impact players, especially linebackers in the worst way. Plus he played under Spags.

  86. truthinesshurts says: Feb 19, 2016 8:00 PM

    Rams defense was pretty solid last year, I think Laurinaitis has some gas left in his tank…not real old drafted in 09, tons of tackles, and never missed a game ? I’ll take him.

    Long is a little older but more concerning are lots of down time with injuries. Is he the next Jared Allen – aging pass rush specialist ?

    Jared Cook …I’d be happy to see him sign with someone else’s team. Not quite a coach killer, but close. Makes a few nice catches and then there’s those not so nice drops. Kind of like the way I play golf with infrequent nice shots that keep me coming back, but those rules don’t apply to team sports. You’re out, Jared.

  87. savior72 says: Feb 19, 2016 8:20 PM

    So, now in addition to a QB, WR’s O- line, they now need a MLB, TE and DE? IT’S GROUNDHOG DAY!!!!

  88. vikingdoode says: Feb 19, 2016 8:27 PM

    Road Warrior come home #vikings need a MLB

  89. vikinganswer says: Feb 19, 2016 8:50 PM

    Come home to Mn

  90. keamosobi says: Feb 19, 2016 8:55 PM

    MUST re-sign William Hayes now. Dude single handedly beat Seahawks in that last game.

  91. b45290 says: Feb 19, 2016 9:27 PM

    Hope they land with winning teams and make the playoffs. They deserve it.

  92. sdcharger123 says: Feb 19, 2016 9:38 PM

    Really surprised at the James Laurinaitis release. Jared Cook was just an awful contract based on production and Chris Long, like he said, has been sh-t the last two years.

  93. kylexitron says: Feb 19, 2016 10:02 PM

    Of all those names Laurinatas surprises me the most. That guy has been healthy, consistent, and good whenever I see the Rams okay okay, which is often as a Seahawks fan and he’s one of the reasons they’ve matched up so well against us in recent years so I can’t say I’m sad to see him go but very surprised.

    I really don’t see how letting go a veteran leader in your team who’s hardly ever been hurt and has always played at an above average level makes your team better. Perhaps there was an undisclosed injury this season that the Rams weren’t comfortable moving forward with.

  94. cominupthrillho says: Feb 19, 2016 10:14 PM

    packerjansen12 says:
    Feb 19, 2016 3:00 PM
    Seriously???? Cut their two best players and consumate pros from the past several years. The Rams can fall apart in LA for all I care.

    Sure, as long as this is 2011. Otherwise none of them were even the best player at their positions any more. Simple fact of the matter is that they were highly paid and not producing up to that level. And this was the year it would not cost much against the cap.

  95. campcouch says: Feb 19, 2016 11:11 PM

    Should’ve cut Fisher instead.

  96. jwcarlson says: Feb 19, 2016 11:46 PM

    As a Packer fan, I would really like Ted Thomson to be shaken from his slumber and go get Jared Cook. Can’t be a terribly expensive guy to sign I wouldn’t think.

    He won’t though. And that’s probably why he’s a GM and I’m the CEO of a multi-billion dollar corporation.😀

  97. kitz626 says: Feb 20, 2016 1:37 AM

    Come on Vikings laurinaitis and then weddle,that would be sweet.

  98. joegill576 says: Feb 20, 2016 6:56 AM

    Yet Jeff Fisher remains. Must suck to be a Rams fan. Twenty two years as a head coach and three division titles,yet he cuts players who he feels have underperformed. I’m sure these players were what was holding Fisher back,the wins will come in bunches now.

  99. richardparker123 says: Feb 20, 2016 7:20 AM

    These were easy calls. Pricey players–too pricey for a team who’s always finished by the time the Rams reach their yearly 3-7 or 4-10 record. Rams can be their yearly underachievers with much less expensive players.

  100. nflfollower says: Feb 20, 2016 8:48 AM

    Its a blessing in disguise for those guys. First, they are free of fischer and the rams franchise. Second, wherever they go next with the exception of a few teams they should be able to avoid those ridiculous california taxes. In time they will realize their good fortune.

  101. seahawkboymike says: Feb 20, 2016 10:20 AM

    I’m shocked by this. I thought the Seahawks were the ones with cap problems, but the Rams just cut half their team.

    Maybe the Seahawks actually manage their cap better than anyone.

  102. boisestatewhodat says: Feb 22, 2016 4:04 PM

    Welcome to New Orleans!

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