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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Cruddy: Rams should be applauded for trying to extend contracts of Long, Laurinaitis

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Kevin Demoff of the St. Louis Rams front office told fans that
 the team hopes to extend the contracts of Chris Long and
 James Laurinaitis very soon. - Photo courtesy of Getty Images
During a live chat on the team's official website, St. Louis Rams vice president of football operations and chief operating officer Kevin Demoff said that the Rams were very interested in keeping defensive end Chris Long and linebacker James Laurinaitis in a Rams uniform for awhile.

Both players can become free agents after the 2013 season.  But Demoff mentioned in the chat that the Rams are in the inital stages of starting contract extension conversations with both players and hopes to get something finalized before 2013 even comes around.

Good.  Finally, the St. Louis Rams front office is making solid decisions.  The fact that the Rams are being pro-active should be a positive sign to fans that the new regime is drastically different from the past.  They actually care about winning.

Long and Laurinaitis are both premier players at their positions.  They are the core of what is left of the decent players the Rams actually selected in recent drafts.  Long and Laurinaitis are literally the heart and soul of what is left of this team and have the make-up to help turn the Rams around and make them into winners.

New coach Jeff Fisher is a defensive guru.  His reputation says so.  The way the Rams drafted this year says so too.  If the Rams are going to be successful sooner rather than later under Fisher, the Rams will need both Long and Laurinaitis around for the long haul.  Both players are still young.  Both players have upper echelon talent.  Both players have the moxie to emotionally move past the last five seasons of losing and can help this team prepare to win again soon.

Good for the Rams for stepping up and getting in front of what could be a huge problem.  Letting either of these players become a free agent would have been an enormous issue and the Rams can not afford to lose either player.

Quarterback Sam Bradford and running back Steven Jackson get a lot of the attention, but it will be Long, Laurinaitis, and Fisher's new defesne that will help lead the Rams back to winning football.

*Meanwhile in legal matters between the Rams and the CVC, news broke that the Rams offered to give the Rams a 947 spot parking garage paid for partly with $48 million of public money.  This offer came before the CVC's official $124 million offer, split by the CVC and the Rams, to hang a scoreboard from the roof of the Edward Jones Dome.

I am not a genius, but I am decent at math.  Why would the CVC think such a proposal would go over well?    947 parking spots multiplied by $20 a spot, multiplied by seven (yes I went there) home games equals just $132,580 annually.  Somebody explain to me why this would excite Stanley Kroenke?

*Congrats to the Miami Heat for finally beating an old Boston Celtics team.  Miami should have won this series in five games or less.  They were more talented than the Celtics.  They were more athletic than the Celtics.  Frankly the Celtics should not have even been in the Eastern Conference Finals to begin with.

But yet the Heat, as dysfunctional as they are, let the Celtics hang around longer than they should have.

The reason is simple.  The Celtics play better team basketball than the Heat.

Ironically, the Oklahoma City Thunder and Kevin Durant play team basketball as well.  The difference between the Thunder and Celtics though is drastic.  The Thunder are young and athletic.

The NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder will be a true test of individual versus team basketball.  It should be fun to watch.

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