The 27-year-old Long was seventh in the NFL with 13 sacks last year, topping his previous best of 8 1-2 sacks, and had a three-sack game against the Saints. He had been entering the final year of a six-year, $56.5 million contract he signed after the Rams drafted him No. 2 overall in 2008 out of Virginia.
The sixth year of the deal was voided after Long met certain incentives. Although the Rams have plenty of salary cap space, Long's cap number for 2012 was $18.3 million.
Long's sack total has increased every season. Last year he had a six-game sack streak and totaled 10 in a nine-game stretch despite nursing a high left ankle sprain that limited him in practice. He also led the Rams with 15 quarterback pressures and 16 quarterback hits.
Long's play was one of the highlights for a 2-14 team. His sack total tied the NFL season best by his Hall of Fame father, Howie Long, who played defensive tackle for the Raiders. Howie Long, an analyst with Fox Sports, had three straight years in double-digit sacks from 1983-85.
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