PHOENIX, Ariz. -- The Long wait is over. Four-time Pro Bowler Jake Long, the free-agent left tackle from the Miami Dolphins, has agreed to terms on a four-year contract with the Rams worth up to $36 million.
After a three-day visit to St. Louis, which qualifies as a marathon in today's free agency, Long has decided to cast his lot with Jeff Fisher and the Rams. After he left St. Louis on Friday, Long then headed back to Miami for a couple of days, leaving Rams fans everywhere on pins and needles.
But Long has made his decision and it's to play in St. Louis, giving the Rams their second big free-agent score along with Tennessee tight end Jared Cook.
"It was a tough decision," Long told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "I came in for a visit and Coach Fisher and Kevin Demoff and 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 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. Mr. (Stephen) Ross 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 and I'm happy with the decision I made."
Ross is the Dolphins' owner.
The Rams have solidified their offensive line for quarterback Sam Bradford, the running game, and of course, the receivers. Safety, wide receiver, outside linebacker, and possibly running back and cornerback remain positions of need, but with most of the Rams' salary cap room now gone, most of them must be filled via the draft next month.
Long was the No. 1 overall pick by the Dolphins out of Michigan in 2008. The Rams strongly considered taking Long at that time, but after Miami selected him, they opted for defensive end Chris Long (no relation) with the No. 2 overall pick. Five years later, they are teammates.
"Jake's an intelligent guy and he's thoughtful," said Long's representative, St. Louis-based agent Tom Condon of the CAA sports agency. "So (he weighed) all the different factors that would be important in making a change in your life like this."
Triceps and biceps injuries slowed Long the past two seasons, costing him six games. He also has had shoulder and knee issues over his career, but his physical exam during his Rams visit revealed no red flags.
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