James Laurinaitis Contract: Rams Expect To Have Extension Before Start Of Season

ST. LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 2: James Laurinaitis #55 of the St. Louis Rams returns an interception against the Washington Redskins at the Edward Jones Dome on October 2, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Redskins beat the Rams 17-10. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

The St. Louis Rams are on the verge of locking up linebacker James Laurinaitis to a long-term contract extension.

The St. Louis Rams are closing in on a contract extension with middle linebacker James Laurinaitis. They expect to have the deal done before the start of the regular season, according to CBS Sports.

Laurinaitis has been a cornerstone of the team's defense since being drafted in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft. He has started every game for the Rams since Week 1 of his rookie season. This is the final year of his original rookie contract, a four-year, $5.09 million deal.

At the start of training camp, the Rams announced a long-term extension for defensive end Chris Long, who was also set to be a free agent in 2013. Locking up both players will give the team salary cap certainty in the seasons ahead, when they may have to consider an extension for quarterback Sam Bradford.

For more on the Rams and reaction to the news, check out Turf Show Times. For more news and analysis from around the NFL, be sure to visit SB Nation's NFL hub.

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