THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Michael Brockers realizes just how special it is to play on one of the NFL’s best defensive lines with the Los Angeles Rams.
He wasn’t about to do anything to break it up.
The defensive tackle agreed to a three-year contract extension Thursday, securing his future with the Rams through 2019.
“It feels good to be wanted,” Brockers said after practice. “I’m just glad it’s done and it’s finished, and I can get that little thing out of my mind and actually focus on football.”
The 6-foot-5 Brockers is a key component of the Rams’ dominant defensive line. The position group is easily the Rams’ strongest, with Brockers on the interior alongside All-Pro Aaron Donald, ends Robert Quinn and William Hayes, and a gifted group of reserves.
Brockers had career highs with 74 tackles and 12 tackles for loss last season while chewing up space and occupying blockers to allow his teammates to make plays. Middle linebacker Alec Ogletree appreciates the dirty work done by the Rams’ big men up front.
“You couldn’t ask for anything better,” Ogletree said. “You’ve got, to me, the top D-line in the league. It makes it a lot easier when I know (opponents) are worried about the front four, so I have time to go make a play because they’re so worried about the D-line. It’s a linebacker’s dream.”
Brockers got his deal a few days before the team’s home opener at the Coliseum against Seattle this weekend, when Los Angeles will get its first real look at the Rams’ new version of the Fearsome Foursome.
The NFL Network reported the extension is worth more than $33 million. Brockers is making $6.15 million this season.
Brockers has 14 1/2 sacks and two forced fumbles in 62 career games with the Rams, starting all but one.
“He’s a big man inside, and you have to have that nowadays,” Rams coach Jeff Fisher said. “He creates opportunities for everybody else, and then every so often he makes a big play himself. He’s been consistent. He’s been week-in, week-out. He’s changed his body since his arrival, overcame some early-career injuries, and has just been one of those guys you can count on.”
The Rams’ defensive line is entering its third season together, and Brockers’ extension will make it easier to keep the group intact. Brockers, a Houston native, starred at LSU before the Rams made him the 14th overall pick in the 2012 draft. Quinn has been with the Rams since 2011, while Hayes arrived as a free agent along with Brockers in 2012. Donald completed the group in 2014.
“Playing with these guys, they’re like my brothers,” Brockers said. “I grew up with them. We’ve been through a lot with each other, so I didn’t want to leave them. You kind of get out of your comfort zone when you become a free agent and get that unknown, so it feels good to be here where I started.”
They actually all started together in St. Louis, but Brockers has comfortably made the move to Southern California. With his new paychecks, he won’t worry quite so much about buying a home in the pricey far-western suburbs where the Rams are headquartered.
“You can’t beat this weather, but I definitely see what you pay for out here,” Brockers said.
The Rams have been busy securing the long-term futures of their core players since arriving in Los Angeles, most recently giving a four-year extension to receiver Tavon Austin during the preseason. Ogletree seems likely to get the next contract after taking over for James Laurinaitis in the middle of Los Angeles’ defense this year.
“I would like to be signed, but right now I’m still on my rookie contract, so that’s what I’m playing on,” Ogletree said with a laugh, declining to comment on negotiations.