Former Los Angeles Rams LB James Laurinaitis is retiring:
It’s end of a great career. Laurinaitis holds the franchise tackle record having surpassed LB Roman Phifer in the 2015 season, a moment that ranked #8 in our top 10 moments of the St. Louis era.
Laurinaitis came to embody the spirit of the final years in St. Louis. A second-round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft out of Ohio St., Laurinaitis was part of a core that was built under former General Manager Billy Devaney and former Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo along with QB Sam Bradford, DE Chris Long, OL Rodger Saffold and DE Robert Quinn. Without surrounding talent, the team plateaued early in his career. As he peaked during the early Jeff Fisher years, Fisherball never gelled. Laurinaitis was released, along with Long and Fisher-era free agent signing TE Jared Cook, last February after seven losing seasons and nary a single unclassy, unprofessional word.
Laurinaitis was the heart of the franchise in those final years in St. Louis, a tireless worker who maintained a focus on improving day-to-day, week-to-week, year-to-year. Sometimes, fate doesn’t line up what is with what is deserved.
That was certainly the case for Laurinaitis. He deserved better.
We hope that the successes to come will honor his place in the annals of Rams history. We wish James the best in retirement.
Thanks for everything, JL55.