The deal is worth $42 million with $33 million over the first three years, a source tells ESPN’s Adam Schefter. It makes him the second-highest paid inside linebacker behind Carolina Panthers star Luke Kuechly.
Ogletree, currently playing on the fifth and final year of his rookie contract, was originally drafted 30th overall by the Rams in 2013 and has totaled 443 tackles in 57 career games. Ogletree’s 28 splash plays since 2014 — consisting of a batted pass, pass defended, forced fumble or interception — are the most among inside linebackers.
The Ogletree deal secures one of three important pending free agents on the Rams’ defense, the other two being safety Lamarcus Joyner (who the team has been interested in signing beyond this year) and cornerback Trumaine Johnson (playing out of his second consecutive franchise tag).
But the big name, of course, is defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who’s only in the third year of his rookie contract but is expected to eventually become the game’s highest-paid defensive player.
Ogletree has been a captain on the Rams the past couple of years and led the Rams’ transition from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense under Wade Phillips. The 26-year-old has struggled at times under a new scheme, with Pro Football Focus grading him 81st among 87 qualified linebackers. But the Rams nonetheless value what he brings to their defense and their locker room.
“Alec has evolved into a true leader of our football team, and we are excited to sign him to this extension,” Rams general manager Les Snead said in a statement. “His teammates voted him as a captain in back-to-back seasons for a reason — and it’s not only because of his production, but his character and resiliency. We look forward to Alec helping our team emerge as a consistent winner for years to come.”