Jake Long, Rams agree to four-year contract


Jake Long is headed to St. Louis. (Wilfredo Lee / AP)

The NFC West just got a whole lot tougher with the news that Jake Long agreed to a four-year, $36-million contract with the St. Louis Rams on Sunday night.

“It was a tough decision,” Long told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch early Monday morning. “I came in for a visit and Coach [Jeff] Fisher and [Rams vice president] Kevin Demoff and [General Manager] Les Snead were amazing. I just fell in love with their vision and the entire organization, and all the great things they had to say about [owner] Mr. [Stan] Kroenke and the way they go about football.

“They really made me feel welcome, my wife and I. It was such a great family atmosphere. It was something I wanted to be a part of. But in the end I wanted to think it through, make the right decision because Miami was amazing to me. Took me No. 1 [in the 2008 NFL draft]. Mr. [Stephen] Ross [the Dolphins owner] and I have a great relationship. This was my home for the last five years, and I just wanted to make sure I made the right decision.”

The happiest person may be often-battered quarterback Sam Bradford, who shares the same agent as Long and how has added protection on his blind side. Bradford has been sacked 71 times in his last 26 games.

“Sam texted me tonight and he just was elated to have another piece on the offense,” agent Tom Condon said. “He’s very excited.”

After his career began with three strong seasons, Long has been bothered by injuries, especially to his triceps and biceps, the last two. The Rams think that’s manageable.

“One of our players texted Jake and told him he’d retire if he had to play for any other coach besides Jeff,” Snead texted SI.com’s Peter King. “Jeff gets veterans to Sunday ready to play … Gets them to December ready to play … So yes, he knows how to keep vets fresh physically, mentally and spiritually as good as anyone in the NFL.”

Follow @CindyBoren on Twitter and on Facebook.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.

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Cindy Boren · March 17, 2013

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