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Old 04-02-2012, 04:00 PM    (permalink
stlouisfan37
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Default Signing Long and Laurinitis

With the draft coming up I have gotten all wrapped up in the new players we might be bringing in. It's that time of year, my favorite time of year until the season starts. This morning, though, I realized that this happens to me every year. I get all excited about the draft, and then I read some article about the Eagles needing to get McCoy signed long-term, which makes me think about who we have going into a contract year. This year it happens to be our two best defenders, Chris Long and James Laurinitis.

There is no doubt we will do everything we can to keep Long. He has grown into an awesome passrusher. That being said, he will be deserving of a hefty payday. I doubt he gets Mario money, but I can easily see him getting a 6 year deal in the neighborhood of $80 million if he is allowed to hit the open market.

Laurinitis, on the other hand, will not command as much attention. He is probably more valuable to us than anyone else. He isn't an overwhelming athlete, and is pretty much a pure 4-3 ILB. I could see us giving him 5 years, $30 million-$35 million if we decide he is the future in the middle.

My question is this: Do we get these guys signed now, before this season starts? This offseason some big name players earned a lot more money because the teams waited to sign them late. As it is, Long almost certainly got a raise on his next contract due to what Williams got in Buffalo. Every time a blockbuster deal is done, it raises the bar for everyone else. Thoughts?
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:04 PM    (permalink
armageddon
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I think Long will get done soon, which will help the Rams cap room for this year. As for JL, there is no reason to yet. He is signed for this year at a pretty cheap price. If they extend him, it probably hurts the cap this year.
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:06 PM    (permalink
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If you guys don't want JL, the Bucs will take him off your hands :D
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:42 AM    (permalink
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armageddon View Post
I think Long will get done soon, which will help the Rams cap room for this year. As for JL, there is no reason to yet. He is signed for this year at a pretty cheap price. If they extend him, it probably hurts the cap this year.
Yeah, but if they extend Long this season it will likely open up cap space. His number this season is something like $12.7 million. Which terrifies me.

If we don't get him signed and we have to franchise him his tag price would be something like $15.2 million (120% of his cap number this season). That kind of leverage is what made it impossible for Houston to franchise Williams and he walked. Agents have figured out that one way to avoid the franchise tag is to backload a significant part of the contract to escalate a player's franchise number. It also gives them an inflated starting point for negotiations. Long's agent can say that if he was to be franchised for the next five years his collective salary would be in the neighborhood of $113 million. I say we get in there and get it done.
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