ST. LOUIS — The Rams cut ties with two offensive lineman to open up some significant salary cap space the day before free agency begins.
Tackle Jake Long and center Scott Wells were released Monday evening, saving the team a much-needed $12.5 million in cap space. St. Louis now sits a little more than $15 million below the cap, according to overthecap.com.
"Jake and Scott brought experience and professionalism to our program and we appreciate their commitment and hard work," coach Jeff Fisher said in a press release. "Both of them overcame injury difficulties and provided leadership for our younger players. We look forward to seeing what the future holds for both of them."
Fisher had already announced second-year offensive lineman Greg Robinson would permanently replace Long at left tackle, where he started 23 games over the past two seasons. But the former Pro Bowler tore his ACL for the second time in two years at Kansas City last season, and questions had been raised about his health going into the third year of a four-year, $34 million deal.
Wells had some injury problems of his own in 2012, his first year with the Rams. But the 34-year-old started 28 of 32 games for a much-maligned offensive line, including all 16 last season.
He restructured his four-year contract in 2014 to lower the base contract for 2015 from $5.5 to $2 million, though he could have made an additional $1.75 million through a roster bonus. He had one year remaining on the contract.
The Rams will face two more decisions for the offensive line in the coming weeks, with both right guard Davin Joseph and right tackle Joe Barksdale set to become unrestricted free agents on Tuesday. Barksdale started all 16 games a year ago and Joseph began the season in a reserve role but earned 13 starts due to injury.
Most mock drafts project St. Louis will take an offensive lineman with the 10th overall pick, and the Rams figure to make some additions via free agency as well.