Originally posted on The Football Fan Spot  |  Last updated 7/31/12

Chris Long was due 10.31 million in the final year of his rookie deal, after going 2nd overall in the 2008 NFL Draft. This extension adds an extra 4 years, 50 million to the existing deal to essentially make it a 5 year, 60 million dollar contract, with 37 million guaranteed. Long is one of the rare picks that panned out in St. Louis under the old regime.

He doesn’t stop the run well, but he leads the NFL in quarterback hits/pressures over the next 2 years with 140, along with 21 sacks. Over the past two years, he has a sack/hit/pressure on 14.7% of his pass rush snaps, one of the best rates in the league. He’s a perfect fit for Jeff Fisher’s wide nine scheme as well, so the Rams did well to lock up him through his age 31 season in 2016.

This deal also frees up the franchise tag for James Laurinaitis next offseason, should they need it, though they are also working on an extension with him. On top of that, it undoubtedly clears up a good chunk of cap space as Long’s cap number was set to be 18.1 million this year. The Rams now have the cap room to go after Mike Wallace, should he become available and should the Rams decide to pursue him.

Grade: A

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