The agreement with Long comes on the heels of New England trading Pro Bowl defensive end/outside linebacker Chandler Jones to the Arizona Cardinals for guard Jonathan Cooper and a 2016 second-round draft pick.
In a tweet Tuesday night, Long expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to join the Super Bowl XLIX champion Patriots.
This is an opportunity and I am so thankful!!! Whatever it takes!!! See you soon Boston. GO PATS 👊🏻
— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) March 16, 2016
Long, the second overall pick in the 2008 draft, started 95 of his 114 games with the Rams and compiled 54½ sacks, 41½ of which came between the 2010 and 2013 seasons, which ranked fifth in the NFL over that period. But over the past two seasons, Long, who turns 31 on March 28, had only four sacks as he battled injuries.
He was a casualty of the Rams' purge on Feb. 19, when the team cut him along with veterans James Laurinaitis and Jared Cook to save nearly $24 million in salary-cap space. Long had signed a four-year extension with the Rams before the 2012 season that was worth $48.2 million, and his salary-cap hit ranked among the top seven at his position from 2012 to '15.
Tied with Laurinaitis as the Rams' longest-tenured players, Long won over teammates and coaches with his leadership skills and professional approach.
While the Patriots lost a top pass-rusher in Jones, they are still deep at the position with Jabaal Sheard, Rob Ninkovich, 2015 draft picks Geneo Grissom (third round) and Trey Flowers (fourth round) and now Long.
Long, the son of Hall of Famer Howie Long, had previously met with the Falcons and Redskins before he met with the Patriots. He agreed to join the Pats ahead of a reportedly scheduled visit to the Cowboys.
ESPN Rams reporter Nick Wagoner and Patriots reporter Mike Reiss contributed to this report.