NFL Notes: Longtime Rams LB Laurinaitis Retires

St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), April 12, 2017 | Go to article overview

NFL Notes: Longtime Rams LB Laurinaitis Retires


Linebacker James Laurinaitis, a second-round draft pick by the St. Louis Rams in 2009 and the franchise's career tackling leader, is retiring. Laurinaitis made the announcement Tuesday on his certified Twitter account.

"I still love the game, but the body says it's time to move on," Laurinaitis said via Twitter. "I'm really looking forward to transitioning into what's next with my wife and (two) daughters."

After an All-American college career at Ohio State, Laurinaitis started 112 games over seven years with the Rams. In the 21 seasons for the team in St. Louis, only Isaac Bruce (179), Orlando Pace (154), Torry Holt (146), and Steven Jackson (119) started more games.

Laurinaitis led the team in tackles in each of his first four seasons, rarely missed a snap, and was voted team captain multiple times.

Several former Rams teammates saluted the middle linebacker via Twitter after Laurinaitis' announcement. Among them:

Chris Long: "140 characters doesn't sum up how lucky I was to play football with a dude of this caliber for 7 yrs."

Zac Stacy: "Ultimate pro. Ultimate teammate. All blessings your way big bro."

Johnny Hekker: "One of my favorite teammates as a young Ram. Owe a lot of my success to the example he set."

In a move related both to salary cap savings and what the Rams felt was declining performance, the team released Laurinaitis on Feb. 19, 2016. He subsequently signed with New Orleans, He started the first three games of the 2016 season for the Saints, but suffered a quad injury in Game 3, then was benched, and eventually released.

Even before the season ended, some close to Laurinaitis were aware that he was considering retirement. He made it official Tuesday.

"With offseason programs starting back up, the thing I'm going to miss most is the locker room," Laurinaitis tweeted. …

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