After losing his starting job to standout rookie Aaron Donald this past season, Kendall Langford has now lost his spot on the Rams’ roster. According to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Twitter link), the Rams have released Langford, making him an unrestricted free agent a year before his contract was set to expire.
Langford, who turned 29 last month, inked a four-year, $22MM deal with the Rams in 2012 after spending the first four years of his NFL career with the Dolphins. The former third-round pick started all 32 games for the Rams during his first two seasons in St. Louis, but his grip on the starting defensive tackle job became tenuous after the club drafted Donald in the first round in 2014.
After starting the first four games of the season, Langford took a back seat to Donald, who had such a strong rookie campaign that Pro Football Focus’ grades ranked him first among DTs, just ahead of Gerald McCoy and Ndamukong Suh (subscription required). While Langford wasn’t bad, his upcoming $7MM cap hit for 2015 – combined with Donald’s emergence – made it easy for the Rams to decide to cut him. The team will clear his $6MM base salary from its ’15 books, leaving just $1MM in dead money on the cap.
Langford, who racked up 49 tackles and five sacks as a starter in 2013, figures to draw interest around the league in advance of this year’s free agent period.