Linebacker James Laurinaitis retiring after productive career

LOS ANGELES -- James Laurinaitis, who carved out an eight-year career as one of the game's most productive, reliable middle linebackers, is retiring from the NFL.

Laurinaitis made the announcement on his Twitter account on Tuesday. He thanked many of those involved in his career and wrote, "I still love the game but the body says it's time to move on."

Laurinaitis, 30, was a second-round pick in 2009 by the then-St. Louis Rams after a stellar career at Ohio State. During his seven-year stint with the Rams, Laurinaitis started all 112 games, compiling 16.5 sacks, 853 total tackles, 33 passes defended, 10 interceptions and eight fumble recoveries.

He left as the Rams' franchise leader in solo tackles (654) and assists on tackles (199), and was one of only three defensive players to start every game from 2009 to '15.

Laurinaitis was released during the Rams' salary-cap purge in February 2016, shortly after the NFL approved their move to Los Angeles. He signed with the New Orleans Saints about a month later. Laurinaitis played in only six games before landing on injured reserve because of a recurring quad injury, prompting the team to waive him in the middle of November.

Laurinaitis was born in Wayzata, Minnesota, and won several awards during his time with the Buckeyes. Twice he received the Jack Lambert Trophy, awarded to the top collegiate linebacker, and he was a two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. He was also a consensus All-American on three occasions and was part of four Big Ten championships.