Rams and tackle Jake Long 'still chatting'

PHOENIX -- With NFL owners, executives and head coaches gathering Sunday for three days of meetings, I had a chance to speak with St. Louis Rams general manager Les Snead on several subjects relating to the team's development.

The team's pursuit of Miami Dolphins free-agent tackle Jake Long stands as the No. 1 short-term issue, and on that front, Snead sounded hopeful.

"We're still chatting," he said, affirming that the Rams feel as though they still have a shot at landing the four-time Pro Bowl left tackle.

Long, who turns 28 in May, spent three days in St. Louis before returning to Miami without a contract. The Dolphins remain in the mix to re-sign him.

Snead would not get into specifics regarding negotiations or concerns over Long's injury history. In general, though, he said injury concerns were not a factor from the Rams' standpoint.

"What I'll say is, health is not a problem," Snead said.

Long missed four games last season and two the year before. He never missed a game during his first three seasons. Shoulder and knee problems bothered Long in 2011 before a torn biceps ended his season. A torn triceps was the issue in 2012.

Signing Long would give the Rams added flexibility heading into the draft. The team has two first-round choices and a greater need at tackle than anywhere else, in my view.