The Los Angeles Rams made a surprising series of moves Friday, releasing three key veterans.
The Rams announced the release of linebacker James Laurinaitis, defensive end Chris Long and tight end Jared Cook. They’re surprising moves, even for a Rams team in the middle of the rebuilding process, as the trio represented three of the team’s most senior players.
However, as NFL.com points out, cutting the three players will save the Rams a good chunk of money. The roster move should open up $24.375 million, according to NFL Media’s Albert Breer.
“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 Friday.
Laurinaitis and Long have been mainstays on the Rams’ defense for years, and both figure to have some good football still left in them. Laurinaitis was the Rams’ second-leading tackler last season, and while Long’s production has dropped off some in recent years, he did have three sacks last season in just 12 games.
Cook, who turns 29 in April, has shown the ability to be an effective pass catcher at the tight end position. He recorded a career-high 52 receptions in 2014 and while his production dropped off some in 2015 — just 39 receptions — he still averaged 12.3 yards per catch, just a hair under his career average of 12.8 yards per reception.
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