Rams interested in extending Long, Laurinaitis

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The Rams haven’t drafted well — to be kind — since the Dick Vermeil years. They did hit on two defenders over the past few drafts, though, and Chris Long and James Laurinaitis are now entering contract seasons.

Rams V.P. of Football Operations Kevin Demoff stated in a recent chat via the team’s official website that the organization is “in the process of starting initial conversations” regarding long-term extensions for Long and Laurinaitis.

Per NFLPA records, Long is due a $10.31 million base salary in 2012. The defensive end hit rookie-contract escalators that spiked his salary, and the Rams could actually free up cap room by signing him long term. Long, 27, posted a career-high 13 sacks last season, and his sack totals have increased each year he’s been in the league.

Laurinaitis, 25, is only due $620,000 in base salary. A three-year starter at middle linebacker, Laurinaitis hasn’t missed a game yet in his career. He led the Rams with a career-most 142 tackles last year, and also recorded three sacks, two interceptions, and seven pass breakups.

Demoff’s comments suggest no deal is imminent with either player. But the Rams are clearly going to prioritize locking up their two young, core defenders this year.

14 responses to “Rams interested in extending Long, Laurinaitis

  1. ” Long, 27, posted a career-high 13 sacks last season, and his sack totals have increased each year he’s been in the league.”

    Thats is a statistic to hang your hat on. Unlike this offseason’s coveted player that went to Buffalo. He has the exact oppoiste. His sacks have been decreasing.

  2. I’ve long been a fan of Laurinaitis, he’s a side-to-side beast who gives 110% every play of every game. How he lasted to the 2nd round, I dunno.

  3. I’m glad they are going to lock up both of these guys b/c they are super-solid non-diva/drama kind of players.

    IMO Laurinaitis doesn’t get enough credit across the league, probably b/c he’s white and considered to be “non-athletic” but he plays better than most MLBs in the NFL.

  4. Both have been bright spots on some pretty lousy teams and seem to keep their noses clean off the field. Not a bad two guys to try to rebuild a defense around.

    Speaking of that have the Rams figured out what they are going to do for a DC? The season is 3 months away.

  5. These guys haven’t even hit their peaks yet. If the Ram’s are smart they will throw the bank at them and they will have a ton of cap space to do it

  6. These guys are awesome players to see get better. There’s a good core of players, but they were all on IR last year. This team was 1 game away from the playoffs in 2010.
    Hoping they all stay healthy and come back strong in 2012.

  7. If Laurinaitis plays out his rookie deal, the Rams will have got 64 quality games from a stud MLB for about $2,000,000 total. The 2009 draft was loaded with linebackers, but he may be the best bargain of them all.

  8. Will be a good move for the Rams. Key players on their D.
    The rest of the league may scoff at the NFC west, but every team is quietly building solid to great defenses.
    Looking forward to the 2012 season.

  9. I’m a Rams fan, and in that draft when Rey Maluaga fell into the 2nd round, I got excited. When they drafted Laurinitus I was actually kind of upset they picked him over Rey. 3 years later, I’m so glad I was wrong. imo 3rd best MLB in football.

  10. I don’t know why either of these guys would resign with the Rams? If you were in prison, and had a chance to leave why would you stay? I’m sure both are looking forward to testing the free agent market.

  11. This team was 1 game away from the playoffs in 2010.

    Dude, the Hawks won the West with a losing record. Way to put a spin on it. More like “this team was 2 games away from .500 in 2010.

  12. It killed me that we couldn’t find a way to get Long to Oakland, to follow in Howie’s steps.

    At least we have Wiz, who’s showing that he’ll follow the legacy of his uncle.

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