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Rams working on deal to trade veteran defensive tackle Michael Brockers to Lions

Rams defensive lineman Michael Brockers walks off the field after losing a playoff game to the Packers in January.
Michael Brockers walks off the field after the Rams lost an NFC divisional round playoff game to Green Bay. Brockers is headed to the Detroit Lions.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

The Rams’ defense continues to undergo change.

On Tuesday , the Rams were working to finalize a deal to trade veteran defensive tackle Michael Brockers to the Detroit Lions, a person with knowledge of the situation said.

The person requested anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly until the deal becomes official.

Brockers, 30, was drafted by the Rams with the 14th pick in the 2012 NFL draft and was the team’s longest-tenured defensive player. Brockers built his reputation as a run-stopper but also amassed 28 sacks.

This is the second year in a row that Brockers will ostensibly depart the Rams. Last March, he agreed to terms with the Baltimore Ravens on a free-agent contract, but the deal fell through because of concerns about a season-ending ankle injury Brockers suffered in the 2019 season finale. The Rams re-signed Brockers to a three-year contract that included $14 million in guarantees, according to overthecap.com. He was due to carry a salary-cap number of $9.8 million this season.

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The Rams began the week about a league-high $33 million over the salary cap of $182.5 million. To make room before Wednesday’s deadline — the start of the NFL’s new league year — they were expected to rework the contracts of cornerback Jalen Ramsey, defensive lineman Aaron Donald, receivers Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp, offensive lineman Andrew Whitworth and, perhaps, Brockers.

Veteran running back Malcolm Brown has agreed to terms on a free-agent contract with the Miami Dolphins, leaving the Rams after six seasons.

But the Rams announced Monday that they had agreed to terms to re-sign edge rusher Leonard Floyd. On Tuesday afternoon they announced that they were under the cap.

This is the second offseason trade between the Rams and Lions, who hired former Rams college scouting director Brad Holmes as general manager. In January, the Rams traded quarterback Jared Goff and two first-round draft picks to the Lions for quarterback Matthew Stafford. That deal becomes official Wednesday.

Brockers’ departure would mark the third by a key defensive player in the last two days. On Monday, safety John Johnson signed with the Cleveland Browns and linebacker Samson Ebukam signed with the San Francisco 49ers.

The defensive line could continue to experience change. Donald, Floyd, Greg Gaines and A’Shawn Robinson remain in the fold. But Morgan Fox, who had a career-best six sacks, is an unrestricted free agent. Derek Rivers on Tuesday agreed to terms with the Houston Texans, according to a tweet by his agent.


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