The St. Louis Rams know how to find a bargain. Over the weekend, the team announced that they locked up defensive end Chris Long to a four-year extension, making him a Ram through 2016. It was revealed on Tuesday that Long's deal is worth $50 million with $27 million in guaranteed money, according to Jim Thomas of the Post-Dispatch.
Pass rushers come at a premium, for obvious reasons, in today's NFL. Mario Williams signed a six-year deal worth $96 million in Buffalo this spring, with as much guaranteed money as Long got in total. Charles Johnson signed a six-year, $76 million deal with $32 million in guarantees with the Panthers last season, with just 21.5 sacks over four years.
Long recorded 13 sacks last season, along with more than 80 total pressures. He has 30 career sacks, and that comes with a slow start in his rookie campaign. He turned 27 in March.
The free agent market would have rewarded Long handsomely, assuming he stayed on his current career track. In all likelihood, he would not have made it to the open market until 2014, having been a prime candidate for the franchise tag in 2013 without this extension.
Now if we could just get him back on Twitter.