The St. Louis Rams have released high-priced veteran safety Quintin Mikell, reports Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Mikell was signed to a four-year, $27 million contract as an unrestricted free agent following the 2011 lockout. In two seasons with the Rams, Mikell started 32 games, totaling 192 tackles, four sacks and a pair of interceptions.
The current Rams regime of GM Les Snead and head coach Jeff Fisher inherited Mikell, but releasing him last season would not have made sense. The Rams lacked depth in the back-end of the secondary and Mikell had a $1 million base salary and $4 million cap number last season. Mikell's cash and cap imprint on the Rams' roster increases to $4 million to $6 million in cash and $9 million against the cap in 2013.
Releasing Mikell saves the Rams $6 million in cash and $3 million in cap space.
Moving on from Mikell means the safety position will be one the Rams will look to address this offseason. The only safeties under club control in 2013 are Darian Stewart, an unrestricted free agent, and Matt Daniels, Rodney McLeod and Quinton Pointer, a trio of undrafted free agents that were signed in 2012. One option for the Rams in free agency is San Francisco 49ers Pro Bowl free safety Dashon Goldson, who avoided a second franchise tag and will be an unrestricted free agent on March 12.
Mikell, who turns 33 in September, entered the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles, who signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2003. In 155 games over 10 seasons, Mikell has 12 interceptions and eight sacks. A potential landing spot for the veteran is the Carolina Panthers, where Sean McDermott, his former secondary coach with the Eagles, is the defensive coordinator of a unit that could use help at the free safety position.