<
>

LB Akeem Ayers joins Rams

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- The St. Louis Rams landed their first outside free agent of the offseason Thursday night, signing former New England Patriots linebacker Akeem Ayers to a two-year deal a league source said is worth $6 million, $3 million of which is guaranteed.

The deal could go as high as $10 million through incentives, the source said.

Although Rams coach Jeff Fisher was gone from Tennessee when the Titans drafted Ayers in 2011, there are a couple of coaches on the St. Louis staff that are familiar with him.

Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams served as the Titans' senior defensive assistant in 2013 and linebackers coach Frank Bush had the same role in Tennessee in 2011 and 2012, when Ayers was playing there.

Ayers comes to the Rams from the Patriots, where he spent the final nine games of 2014.

The Titans originally selected Ayers in the second round of the 2011 NFL draft.

He played there until October of last season when the Patriots traded a sixth-round pick in 2015 for him and a 2015 seventh-round choice.

After arriving in New England, the Patriots used Ayers primarily in a pass-rushing role in their sub-packages. He posted 17 tackles, four sacks and an interception for New England.

For his career, Ayers has 241 tackles, 13 sacks, three interceptions and three forced fumbles.