clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Rams release Chris Long, Jared Cook and James Laurinaitis

New, comments
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

It's salary cap cuts time: the St. Louis Rams just announced that they cut defensive end Chris Long, tight end Jared Cook and linebacker James Laurinaitis. The trio was expensive, old and lacking in production in recent years, so these cuts are understandable. They won't be the only big-name salary cap cuts over the coming month -- Mario Williams is likely to be cut soon as well.

The Bucs would do well to look at both Long and Cook as backups, as neither has produced up to the level of a starter recently. Long used to be a dominant pass-rusher, but has just four sacks over the past two injury-marred seasons. He'll be 31 this season so he's definitely close to the end of his career, but Mike Smith helped old pass rushers resurrect their careers before, most notably with John Abraham.

Cook's a different beast: a very talented receiving tight end who always struggles to block, and he wasn't worth the money that he was paid given the drop in production -- just 481 receiving yards last year. The Bucs have a young, talented, athletic tight end in Austin Seferian-Jenkins, but he hasn't been overly productive so some competition would make sense. They also have Cameron Brate, who's better as a short-range tight end than the deep receiving option that Seferian-Jenkins and Cook have the potential to be.

Signing either Cook or Long to low-risk, short-term contracts would be a smart move for the Bucs. Adding veteran depth with potential to be more is always good, and hardly a strong commitment with 90-man offseason roster. That kind of competition will at minimum push everyone else on the roster.