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Rams Reward Defensive End Chris Long With Contract Extension

NFL via Getty Images(ST. LOUIS) -- While the St. Louis Rams continue their rebuilding process, the team is making sure they hold onto their core players in hopes of becoming contenders again. The team announced that they have signed defensive end Chris Long to a four-year contract extension through the 2016 season.

Long initially struggled to live up to expectations after the team selected in second overall in the 2008 NFL Draft, but he's gotten better and better every season he's been in the league. His sacks have increased every season since his rookie year, including 13 last year, which was his seventh in the NFL.

"It's huge for me," Long said. "You like to know where you stand, and I feel really good about obviously their commitment to me. When it turns around, I want to be part of it."

"I think he was one of the pillars of our defense last year and he's very deserving of what he just signed," running back Steven Jackson said.

The Rams hope that with players like Long under contract, they'll be able to improve their 2-14 2011 season.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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