NFL Rumors: James Laurinaitis Leaving Los Angeles Rams For New England Patriots

NFL rumors have swirled around James Laurinaitis. After six years with the Los Angeles Rams, the veteran linebacker is now in need of a new home in the National Football League. The Rams didn’t actually want to get rid of Laurinaitis. It was simply a matter of economics. They had a lot of younger players that needed to be signed. According to ESPN, Laurinaitis could be on the verge of joining the New England Patriots in the near future.

The Los Angeles Rams needed to clear some salary cap space. They opted to release James Laurinaitis and go with a young movement at the linebacker spots. Alec Olgetree will now move to middle linebacker for the Rams and will be tasked with the play calling. There’s an expected leadership downgrade from Laurinaitis. Mark Barron will be making the full time shift from safety to outside linebacker, moving into the slot previous occupied by Ogletree.

Los Angeles Rams linebacker Alec Olgetree Alec Olgetree [Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images]One of the many teams interested in signing James Laurinaitis is allegedly the New England Patriots. The team already has Dont’a Hightower and Jamie Collins, head coach Bill Belichick has never been opposed to having a lot of depth. He likes having multiple weapons to throw against the various offenses in the NFL. Since Belichick doesn’t abide by traditional formations, the Patriots will be able to figure out how to get Laurinaitis on the field.

On various sports websites, the New England Patriots are listed as using a 4-3 defense. On their official website, the team specifically made it a point to say that their depth chart is unofficial. That’s because Bill Belichick will put the eleven best players on the field regardless of position. He’s all about finding mismatches. If that means that Belichick puts five linebackers, five defensive backs and a defensive lineman on the field, he’s totally comfortable with that.

New England Patriots linebacker Jamie Collins Jamie Collins [Photo by Elsa/Getty Images]Some may argue that the New England Patriots would be better off giving that third linebacker spot to a younger player because they already have established talents in Dont’a Hightower and Jamie Collins. However, Bill Belichick is always determined to win a Super Bowl every single season. If James Laurinaitis can help with that cause, then Belichick has no qualms with using his salary cap to get the former Ohio State Buckeyes star on the roster.

Bill Belichick is a guy that doesn’t like to waste time. He’s one of the more efficient head coaches in the NFL. If he wasn’t genuinely interested in signing James Laurinaitis, then he wouldn’t go through the trouble of scheduling a meeting. The fact that he’s taking time to speak with Laurinaitis means that he believes that the 29 year old still has something left in the tank and can be an asset to the New England Patriots.

New England Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower Dont’a Hightower [Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Image]It’s interesting to note that Chris Long has also garnered interest from the New England Patriots. It’s further proof that Bill Belichick is not a traditional thinker when it comes to building an NFL roster. The Patriots are extremely deep when it comes to edge rushers. On the surface, it would appear that Long would be a redundant addition. However, Belichick probably already has a million ways in mind that he wants to use Long.

James Laurinaitis is going to choose between the New England Patriots, Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Chicago Bears, Washington Redskins, San Francisco 49ers and New York Giants. It’s quite the luxury to have that many choices in the NFL. Laurinaitis earned that right by starting every single game that he’s played for the Los Angeles Rams over a period of six years. That type of durability is rare.

[Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images]