With the St. Louis Rams failing to make the playoffs for the 11th consecutive season finishing 7-9 in 2015, some changes throughout the organization were bound to be made this offseason.
The biggest changes, obviously, has to do with the city that they will be playing in, as after 20 years in St. Louis the Rams will be returning to Los Angeles beginning in the 2016 season. But while the Rams will be moving west, not everyone will be going with them.
According to Pro Football Talk the Rams have decided to release veterans Chris Long, James Laurinaitis, and Jared Cook:
L.A. Rams dump James Laurinaitis, Chris Long, Jared Cook in one fell swoop.
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) February 19, 2016
According to Ian Rapaport of NFL.com, the moves have major financial implications for the Rams as it will create a nice chunk of cap room:
#Rams save $23M in cap space by cutting Cook, Long & Laurinaitis. They have pending FAs like Janoris Jenkins, Trumaine Johnson & need a QB
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 19, 2016
Long was drafted No. 2 overall by the Rams in 2008 and played each of his first eight season with the team. In 114 games with the team the defensive end had 54.5 sacks and 195 tackles.
The Rams selected Laurinaitis in the second round the following year, and he played seven seasons leading the team’s defense as the middle linebacker. His 853 tackles are the most in franchise history.
Cook began his career with the Tennessee Titans before signing with the Rams in free agency before the 2013 season. In three seasons in St. Louis the tight end had 1,786 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. He set a career high in touchdowns when he scored five in 2013.
These players were certainly big parts of the Rams so it will be weird not seeing them line up when the Rams take the field in Los Angeles. With the move, the Rams seem to be ready to go in a new direction and that meant getting rid of a couple of veterans.