Long, Laurinaitis say goodbye to Rams fans on Instagram

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Chris Long and James Laurinaitis, former linchpins of the Los Angeles Rams' defense, took their releases in stride Friday, taking to Instagram to thank both the organization and the fans.

Just heard that I'm about to be unemployed. I just want to personally and humbly thank the city of St. Louis again for all your support over 8 years. I love y'all so much for sticking with me through the ups and downs. I also want to thank our LA fans, and although I may never join you in SoCal, just know that I'll always appreciate you. Bottom line is- this is a production business. No excuses, the last two years have been shit. It's been painful to experience because I care deeply about my performance and my responsibility to my teammates. Before the last two years I'm very proud of what I was able to accomplish in St. Louis. I'm not surprised, but it doesn't make it any easier to leave your family. I look forward to the next chapter. Hungry and a lot to prove all over again. First I'm gonna have a beer. Wishing it shook out differently but eternally grateful, C Long

A photo posted by Chris Long (@joelworld) on

Both players have spent their entire careers with the Rams organization after they were selected in back-to-back drafts (Long in 2008, Laurinaitis in 2009) as the franchise attempted to rebuild its struggling defense.

After seven unforgettable seasons with the St. Louis Rams, I am saddened that my time with the team has come to an end. I would like to thank the Rams organization for giving me the opportunity to live out my dream of playing in the NFL! I am forever grateful for the time I spent playing alongside my incredible teammates who have become brothers and lifelong friends. I'm going to miss going to battle with you guys. Thank you to the fans who have supported me over the past 7 years. I'm sorry we couldn't accomplish more, but I promise you I gave it all I had on Sunday's. The city of St. Louis has welcomed me since day one and our daughter was born here, so it will always have a place in our hearts. While it is difficult to close this chapter of my career, I look forward to the journey ahead and what the future holds in store for me and my family. I can't wait to play football. Thank you!

A photo posted by James Laurinaitis (@jlaurinaitis) on

The Rams also released veteran tight end Jared Cook in a cost-cutting measure. Los Angeles is thought to be making room to sign younger talent on its roster, including cornerbacks Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson.