NFL rumors have been swirling around James Laurinaitis. The veteran linebacker was released by the Los Angeles Rams because the team needed to clear salary cap space to lock down their younger players. Laurinaitis generated interest around the National Football League, including the New England Patriots. He might have found a new home. According to ESPN, Laurinaitis is close to signing a contract to join the New Orleans Saints, whose defense is badly in need of an upgrade.
General managers in the NFL have to make hard decisions at times. Les Snead had no choice but to get rid of several productive veterans recently. The Los Angeles Rams waved goodbye to tight end Jared Cook, defensive end Chris Long, and linebacker James Laurinaitis. The Rams would have loved for the three of them to be a part of the upcoming season, but financially, it was not something that would be possible if they wanted to build towards the future.
James Laurinaitis generated some headlines when it was reported that he had mutual interest in joining the New England Patriots. Laurinaitis was already a good NFL player, but the linebacker might have been even better under Bill Belichick, a defensive mastermind. The Patriots would have had a ridiculous linebacker trio in Laurinaitis, Dont’a Hightower, and Jamie Collins, a unit that would be ranked near the top of the National Football League.
In the end, though, James Laurinaitis decided to sign with the New Orleans Saints, where he could potentially make a huge impact. NFL players like it when they feel needed. The New York Giants were the worst defense in the National Football League. They gave up 420.3 yards a game. The New Orleans Saints were right behind them, giving up 413.3 a game. Saints head coach Sean Payton knows that his job would be in jeopardy if they went through another season like that.
It will be interesting to see where James Laurinaitis will line up for the New Orleans Saints. He has played middle linebacker during his entire career in the NFL. The Saints spent a first-round selection during the NFL Draft last season on Stephone Anthony. He started every game at middle linebacker during his rookie season. New Orleans might not want to affect his development by having him change positions, so Laurinaitis might play one of the outside linebacker positions.
When he found out that he was being released by the Los Angeles Rams, James Laurinaitis was said to be quite surprised. The 29-year-old middle linebacker was actually working out at the team facilities when he received the call from Rams head coach Jeff Fisher about being released. Some felt that he would stay in the NFC West to get revenge on the Rams. The San Francisco 49ers showed a good amount of interest in Laurinaitis, who would form quite the linebacker tandem with Navorro Bowman.
James Laurinaitis has a pretty famous father. He was Road Warrior Animal, one half of arguably the best tag team in the history of professional wrestling. Through Twitter, he revealed a list of NFL teams that Laurinaitis had visited. It appeared that Animal, whose real name is Joe, was leaning towards his son signing with the Atlanta Falcons. It was the only team that he added a hashtag to.
Being released by a team isn’t an indication that you’re no longer good enough to play in the NFL. James Laurinaitis still has enough left in the tank to be a productive linebacker. The New Orleans Saints are hoping that he can help make their defense respectable again. Sean Payton’s job depends on it.
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