NFC Notes: Jake Long, Bucs, Bears, Lions

The Rams fear that left tackle Jake Long has torn his ACL, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (Twitter link). Long, the first overall pick in 2008, spent the first five seasons of his career with the Dolphins before signing a four-year, $34MM contract with St. Louis prior to last season. If the diagnosis is correct, Long would be the second notable Rams player, along with quarterback Sam Bradford, to have his season cut short by an ACL injury. Long also missed the final game of last season after tearing his ACL. Greg Robinson, the second overall pick in the 2014 draft, will presumably take over at left tackle. He had been playing left guard, and given that Rodger Saffold also suffered an injury today, the Rams will have to do some maneuvering along their offensive line. Veteran guard Davin Joseph is a candidate to be re-inserted into the starting lineup.

  • We’ve heard rumors that the Buccaneers could look to move Vincent Jackson and/or Doug Martin, and following today’s overtime loss to the Vikings, Jason La Canfora of opines (Twitter links) that Tampa Bay should look to deal the two, in addition to safety Dashon Goldson, at all costs. The Bucs generally don’t offer signing bonuses, so no money would accelerate onto their cap if Goldson was dealt. The acquiring team would be responsible for 9/17 of Goldon’s 2014 base salary, plus all of his 2015 guarantee — in total, about $7.18MM. Given that he rates 74th out of 82 qualified safeties per Pro Football Focus’ metrics (subscription required), I’d wager that no team would be interested in taking on his salary, and even less inclined to give up a draft pick.
  • On the subject of Buccaneers trade rumors, Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap examines what a Jackson deal would look like, noting that because an acquiring team would need at least $5.1MM in cap space in order to take on his contract, the pool of suitors is limited. Fitzgerald lists the Browns, Eagles, and Patriots among the clubs that have both the requisite cap space and the motivation to trade for a receiver upgrade.
  • Bears defensive lineman Lamarr Houston will undergo an MRI tomorrow, but the club fears the worst, according to Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link). Mike Garafolo adds (via Twitter) Chicago believes Houston, a key free agent addition over the offeseason, suffered a season-ending knee injury.
  • Another NFC North lineman, the Lions’ Nick Fairley, suffered a knee injury today, and head coach Jim Caldwell isn’t optimistic about Fairley’s status. “I’m not quite certain where he is right now,” Caldwell told reporters, including Kyle Meinke of “But obviously, when you’re carried off the field, it’s not the greatest news. We’ll see what the doctors say about him.”
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