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.