ST. LOUIS, MO - NOVEMBER 27: James Laurinaitis #55 of the St. Louis Rams waits to be introduced prior to playing against the Arizona Cardinals at the Edward Jones Dome on November 27, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Cardinals beat the Rams 23-20. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Minutes ago on Twitter, the greatest media machine today, Kevin Demoff announced that the Rams have agreed to a contract extension with James Laurinaitis.
One last piece of business to take care of before we head to Detroit. twitter.com/kdemoff/status…— Kevin Demoff (@kdemoff) September 8, 2012
The deal according to Adam Schefter is a 5 year contract for $41.5 million with $23.5 guaranteed. This puts James' pay up to par with the best MLBs in the NFL.
Rams signed LB James Laurinaitis to a five-year, $41.5 million extension that runs through 2017 and includes $23.5 mil gtd.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 8, 2012
Some may say that this could be a bit too much money for Laurinaitis. Many see him as a solid MLB, but not one of the elites. I disagree. He has been right on the outside of the pro bowl team each season, while playing behind a shaky defensive line. With Brockers and Langford in front of him this season, expect his production to match the money the Rams have invested.
Furthermore, James has become the leader of the defense. He is the overused "heart and soul" type of players. Kevin Demoff told Jim Thomas "There is no player who embodies what we want on and off the field more than James Laurinaitis."
The Rams also extended Chris Long earlier. Having the two foundations of the defense locked up long term is a huge benefit to the Rams as they move forward in their rebuilding.