Every Saturday throughout the offseason, one question from Twitter will be selected to further explore a relevant topic around the New England Patriots.
@MikeReiss any chance the pats go after Any of the Rams defence cuts— Ron Danza (@DiscoOrgazmoa) February 19, 2016
Ron, this was a popular question Friday after the Rams announced the release of defensive end Chris Long and linebacker James Laurinaitis, along with tight end Jared Cook. It led me to look a bit closer at both Long and Laurinaitis, as I haven't watched them much over the last few seasons because the Patriots and Rams haven't played each other and haven't had too many common opponents. The production of Long and Laurinaitis declined the last two seasons, so they haven't been the same players they were earlier in their careers, but they can still help a team. While the Patriots' potential interest can't be dismissed out of hand, I don't see the obvious fit in this situation as I do with someone like soon-to-be-free-agent running back Matt Forte, whose skill-set looks like a perfect match for New England's style of offense. Part of the thinking is that Long plays an end-of-the-line position where the Patriots are currently deep with Rob Ninkovich, Chandler Jones, Jabaal Sheard, Geneo Grissom and Trey Flowers on the depth chart. Meanwhile, Laurinaitis would project as a No. 3 linebacker behind Jamie Collins and Dont'a Hightower, a spot where the team could use some help, but one where developing a younger player with more special teams impact who takes up limited salary-cap space might be preferred. Nonetheless, let's keep an eye on this one, knowing that Patriots defensive line coach Brendan Daly probably has some good intelligence on both Long and Laurinaitis from his time as Rams defensive line coach (2009-2011).