Of the three players released by the Los Angeles Rams Friday, the Seahawks might have the most interest in defensive end Chris Long.
The St. Lou. … er Los Angeles Rams cut three veteran players Friday — tight end Jared Cook, defensive end Chris Long and linebacker James Laurinaitis.
The moves will reportedly clear out more than $24 million in cap space for the Rams as they go about rebuilding their team with their move to Los Angeles (and also maybe make it easier to re-sign some of their own free agents, such as cornerback Janoris Jenkins).
Cook, Long and Larinaitis are now free agents and can sign with any other team immediately, unlike those players whose contracts will run out when the new league year begins on March 9. Those players have to wait until then to sign with any team other than their own.
That each of the three was released also means that whatever team signs them now won’t be at risk of giving up a compensatory pick. So that could make each a little more attractive to some team.
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Seattle, as is the case with a lot of teams, would likely be most interested in Long, given his history as one of the league’s more feared pass rushers since entering the NFL in 2008.
However, Long will also be 31 next month and has battled injuries the last two seasons which contributed to him making just three sacks in 2015, and only one in the final 12 games.
Long was due to have a cap hit of $14.25 million 2016 with the Rams. He won’t make anywhere near that now, with teams likely looking at signing him to a one-year deal in maybe the $4 million range.
Seattle has signed veterans to similar deals in recent seasons, such as Kevin Williams two years ago, and you would assume the Seahawks will at least do their usual due diligence in checking things out with Long, who was the second overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft.
The Seahawks may well lose Bruce Irvin in free agency and will likely be looking both in the draft and free agency to help replace him, both as a linebacker and as a pass rusher. Regardless of Irvin’s situation, the Seahawks will be looking to add depth at defensive end and in the pass rushing department.
Some team could try to strike quickly with Long. But Long might also want to wait and see how a market that could be favorable to all players, given the rising cap, but especially to pass rushers will play out. Regardless, the Seahawks don’t figure be alone in likely taking a look at Long though so far, there haven’t been any reports linking him with any specific teams.
The three moves, meanwhile, will give the Rams roughly $60 million in salary cap room (the Seahawks are at about $23 million) and will make them one of the biggest players in free agency.