Jake Long has made his decision. And the St. Louis Rams have a new left tackle. NFL.com's Albert Breer reported late Sunday night that Long and the Rams have agreed to a new deal, according to a team source. The contract is for four years and $34 million, with incentives that could push it to $36 million, according to the source. Breer also reports that $16 million is guaranteed at signing, with another $4 million guaranteed if he is on the roster at the start of the 2014 league year.
Two club sources told Breer that coach Jeff Fisher's pitch on the direction of the Rams franchise was instrumental in landing Long. According to ESPN's Ed Werder, Long turned down a higher offer from a team other than the Miami Dolphins to join the Rams. The news was somewhat surprising given reports this weekend that Long and the Dolphins were heading toward a deal that would keep Long with the team that selected him first overall in the 2008 NFL Draft. Long joins tight end Jared Cook as the second player in the past week to choose the Rams over the Dolphins. "It was a tough decision," Long told the Post-Dispatch. "I came in for a visit and coach Fisher and Kevin Demoff and Les Snead were amazing. I just fell in love with their vision and the entire organization. And all the great things they had to say about Mr. (Stan) Kroenke and the way they go about football." Long said the Rams "really made me feel welcome, my wife and I. It was such a great family atmosphere. It was something I wanted to be a part of." Long becomes Sam Bradford's new blindside protector, a move that no doubt has Bradford doing cartwheels in his foyer. To make room for the four-time Pro Bowl lineman, Rodger Saffold is likely to move to the right side -- though his agent told the Post-Dispatch recently that Saffold doesn't want to move to right tackle. Long sustained a season ending triceps injury last season. In an interview with NFL Network on Sunday, Fisher said Long checked out medically and the team had no short- or long-term medical concerns. As for the Dolphins, they now have to come to grips with the reality that they've lost a player they once considered a franchise cornerstone. Long wasn't as dominant in his final two seasons in Miami, but Jonathan Martin will have big shoes to fill nonetheless. Given the Hall of Fame-type trajectory of the first three seasons of his career, it's stunning that Long never made it to a second contract with the Dolphins.
Dammit. Looks like St. Louis got away with a steal. Bushrod got $7.2 million each season, Long got $8.5 million. Well played Rams, well played.
Don't get me wrong. I'm really happy with Bushrod but I think that Long would have been a little more awesome. After all a healthy Long is a Top 3 LT.
Anyway, it is what it is. I'm happy with Bushrod and Bennett and ready for the draft. Bear down!
Indeed it does not make the Bushrod contract that good again, but then again can Long stay healthy? If he can then I'd have loved to have Long over Bushrod. But we got a new LT and he is certainly an upgrade over Webb so that is all what matters.
I wonder why he choose Rams over the Bears if the Bears were truely interested in him.