2:28pm: The amount of interest in Laurinaitis appears to have been exaggerated. Per Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the report below indicating five teams have already met with the free agent linebacker came from a Twitter account posing as Laurinaitis’ father (Twitter link). The Saints and Falcons appear to be in the mix, but it’s probably not safe to assume any of the new teams are pursuing Laurinaitis.
12:00pm: Add the 49ers to that list of questionable inclusions. Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com writes that the linebacker hasn’t met with the 49ers, and it’s uncertain whether the player will even meet with the organization.
10:18am: ESPN’s John Keim tweets that a person within the Washington organization wasn’t aware of a meeting with Laurinaitis. The writer notes that he’s “putting no stock” in the comments by the linebacker’s father.
9:18am: James Laurinaitis has been a busy man since being cut by the Rams last month. We knew that the linebacker had already traveled to New Orleans and Atlanta to meet with the Saints and Falcons, respectively. However, it doesn’t sound like his travels ended there.
According to the Laurinaitis’ father (via Evan Woodbery of NOLA.com), the 29-year-old has met with five other teams: the Patriots, Bears, 49ers, Giants, and Washington.
The Ohio State product was a consistent force in the Rams’ defense for the past seven years. The linebacker started every possible game during his tenure in St. Louis, and he never finished with less than 100 tackles in a single season. This past year, Laurinaitis compiled 109 tackles, one sack and one interception. The linebacker has averaged 122 tackles, two sacks and five passes defended per season.
Despite these consistent numbers, the advanced stats have not been particularly friendly. For his 2015 performance, Pro Football Focus ranked Laurinaitis 83rd among eligible linebackers, which placed him third on the Rams (behind Mark Barron and Akeem Ayers). He still earned a spot on our rankings of the best free agent inside linebackers, placing seventh.