Post-Draft Outlook: A closer look at the Rams' picks: Round 2/35 -- James Laurinaitis, MLB, 6-2, 244, Ohio State...Instincts and intelligence are outstanding, registering 130 tackles last season. Lacks tremendous speed, but makes up for it with ability to flow to the ball. - by The Sports Xchange
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Draft Scout James Laurinaitis News
03/17/16 - LB James Laurinaitis, who had his contract terminated by the Rams Feb. 19, agreed to terms with the Saints Wednesday (March 16).
03/17/16 - LB James Laurinaitis confirmed on Twitter late Wednesday night that he was joining the New Orleans Saints
New Orleans also added a second linebacker earlier in the day, Nate Stupar.
The 29-year-old Laurinaitis never missed a game for St. Louis since the Rams drafted him with the 35th overall pick in the 2009 draft.
He recorded 852 combined tackles, 16.5 sacks, 34 passes defended, 10 interceptions and one safety in his career.
03/03/16 - LB James Laurinaitis is scheduled to meet with the Atlanta Falcons on Monday and Tuesday, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Laurinaitis was released by the Los Angeles Rams last month, and has also visited with the New Orleans Saints in advance of the opening of free agency on Wednesday.
Paul Worrilow led the Falcons with 95 tackles from his middle linebacker position last season, but is a pending restricted free agent.
Laurinaitis, 30, was second on the Rams with 109 tackles, but releasing him saved the Rams $5.5 million against the 2016 cap. The Rams have two younger linebackers in Mark Barron, moved last season from safety, and Alec Ogletree, who is coming back from a season-ending injury in 2015.
02/19/16 - Three major cuts left the St. Louis Rams without some of the star power they were bringing to Los Angeles, with DE Chris Long, MLB James Laurinaitis and TE Jared Cook released Friday (Feb. 19).
Combined, the trio was scheduled to earn $22.525 million in base salary.
"This is the time of year when all NFL teams are faced with difficult decisions regarding their veteran players," Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said. "Chris and James are the epitome of what it means to be a pro in this league and it's been an honor to coach them both. They've been the pillars of our defense for many years and not enough can be said of their love for the game and for their teammates. Beyond the field, they took pride in mentoring the younger players and doing their part to make a real difference in the St. Louis community. We will always be grateful for James and Chris' unselfish commitment to the Rams and wish them the best moving forward."
Long was the team's highest-paid player and he had not performed up to his scheduled 2016 cap figure of $14.25 million. Injuries limited him to 18 total games the past two seasons. He was a captain and arguably the most respected player in the locker room on defense. Long was the No. 2 pick in the 2008 draft.
The son of Hall of Fame defensive end Howie Long, Chris Long started 95 games with 54.5 sacks in St. Louis. His release saves the Rams $11.75 million against the cap.
Laurinaitis, 30, was also a team leader but releasing him saves $5.5 million against the 2016 cap. The Rams have two younger linebackers in Mark Barron, moved last season from safety, and Alec Ogletree, who is coming back from a season-ending injury in 2015.
Cook signed a five-year, $35.1 million deal in 2013 as an unrestricted free agent from the Tennessee Titans that included a cap charge of $8.3 million for 2016. Releasing him saves the team $5.7 million.
01/05/16 - MLB James Laurinaitis had his effectiveness compromised by an elbow injury that affected him for the second half of the season. Head coach Jeff Fisher said he likely won't need surgery. Said Fisher, "I have not gotten the final report, but it's probably unlikely that he would need to have that corrected. He just needs to rest. He needs to go sit on a beach and do a Corona commercial." As for continuing to play, Fisher marveled, "He set the franchise record with 1,009 tackles and the second half of the year, it wasn't easy for him. But, he showed up every single day. He got the defense in position. He made the calls and he's one of those guys. He's a throwback. He wasn't 100 percent and you could tell it, but he gave it everything he had."