Defensive lineman Michael Brockers’ eight-year tenure with the Rams is apparently over.
Brockers, a pending free agent, on Monday agreed to a three-year, $30-million contract with the Baltimore Ravens, according to reports. Monday was the start of the NFL’s so-called “legal tampering” period, when agents can negotiate with teams in advance of the start of the new league year and free agency on Wednesday.
Brockers, 29, was the Rams’ longest-tenured defensive player after being selected with the 14th pick in the 2012 draft. During his time in St. Louis and Los Angeles, Brockers played alongside more heralded linemen such as Chris Long, Robert Quinn and Aaron Donald. But he was a stabilizing presence as a run stopper, locker room leader and mentor for younger players.
In 2019, according to overthecap.com, Brockers carried a salary-cap number of $10.8 million in the final year of a three-year extension he signed in 2016.
Brockers was among 10 pending unrestricted free agents for the Rams, a group that also includes linebacker Cory Littleton, edge rusher Dante Fowler and offensive linemen Andrew Whitworth and Austin Blythe.
Coach Sean McVay had said the Rams wanted to keep all of their pending free agents. But that was impossible given the constraints of a team that has made massive financial commitments to Donald, quarterback Jared Goff, running back Todd Gurley and receiver Brandin Cooks.
Late last season, Brockers said he was aware he might be playing his final games for the Rams.
“I know it’s a business. I understand teams — sometimes they love a guy but they still have to let him go,” he said. “That could be the situation.
“Hopefully it’s not. But I’ve been in this business long enough to understand that some tough choices have to be made.”
In January, in a video posted to social media, Brockers said an apparent goodbye.
“No matter what happens next, I was honored to be a Ram, honored to be a part of this organization and honored to put those horns on,” he said. “Me and my family can’t wait to see what’s next and we just want to say thank you.”
Brockers joins a Ravens defense that includes former Rams cornerback Marcus Peters and end Calais Campbell, who was acquired Sunday in a pending trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars.