Hats off to Kevin Demoff and Les Snead. The St. Louis Rams won big in making their play for Jake Long. Not only did they get a potential Pro Bowl tackle to protect quarterback Sam Bradford, they also managed to sign Long to a very reasonable deal that doesn't carry too much of a salary cap hit for 2013.
Long's contract with the Rams carries a $4.5 million cap hit this year, according to Jim Thomas of the Post-Dispatch. That leaves the Rams with $3 million in cap space at the moment. That leaves them with some room to make another move or two, like finding a reasonably priced starting safety or re-signing backup offensive linemen like Chris Williams or Rob Turner.
It doesn't mean that the Rams are stuck at $3 million under the cap. Obviously, the team had a plan in place to sign Louis Delmas along with Jared Cook and Long, before Delmas got a better offer from the Lions. All it takes is one stroke of the pen to restructure a deal to free up cap space. It's just a matter of assessing the opportunity cost of doing so.
And what about the rookie salary pool? Well, that works a little differently. I'm going to send you to the fine folks at Over the Cap to explain.
As for the other details in Long's contract, he gets some $15-16 million in guaranteed money no matter what. That could climb to $20 million with incentives which are believed to be based on playing time, according to Thomas.