James Laurinaitis Bio: Early Life, College, NFL, Wife & Net Worth

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Ever heard of the three-time All-American of the Ohio State who spent seven seasons at St. Louis Rams? Don’t worry if you haven’t.

In fact, the man is James Laurinaitis, who retired in 2017 after playing in National Football League for eight years.

To point out, Laurinaitis is a former American footballer who played at the linebacker position for the St. Louis Rams and New Orleans Saints.

Notably, he is the son of Joseph Laurinaitis, a World Wrestling Entertainment professional wrestler and a WWE Hall of Famer with the ring name ‘Road Warrior Animal.’

James Laurinaitis shows passion playing for the St. Louis Rams.
James Laurinaitis shows passion playing for the St. Louis Rams.

Furthermore, he started serving as a college football analyst at the Big Ten Network. For sure, you would want to know more about his personal and professional life.

Owing to your curiosity, we have prepared an article about him. Let’s dig into it!

Quick Facts:

Full Name James Richard Laurinaitis
Birth Date December 3, 1986
Birth Place Wayzata, Minnesota, United States
Residence Palmyra, Virginia, United States
Nickname James Laurinaitis
Religion Christianity
Nationality American
Ethnicity White
Education Wayzata High School, Plymouth, Minnesota

Ohio State University

Horoscope Sagittarius
Father Joseph Michael Laurinaitis
Mother Julie Laurinaitis
Siblings One brother and one sister
Sister Jessica Laurinaitis
Brother Joseph Laurinaitis Jr. (Half-brother)
Age 37 Years Old
Height 6 feet 2 inches (188 cm)
Weight 112 kg (248 lbs)
Build Athletic
Eye color Blue
Hair Color Bald
Profession College Football Analyst

NFL player (former)

Playing Position Linebacker
Active years  (Senior Career) 2009 – 2014
Sexual Orientation Straight
Teams St. Louis Rams (2009 – 2015)

New Orleans Saints (2016)

Jersey number #53 ( New Orleans Saints), #55 ( Los Angeles Rams)
Marital Status Married
Wife’s Name Shelly Williams (m. 2013)
Children Two daughters
Daughters London Laurinaitis

Hayden Laurinaitis

Net Worth $3 million
Career Earnings $35.4 million
Social Media Twitter
Merch Football Card, Autographed helmet,
Last Update April, 2024

James Laurinaitis | Early Life, Family, and Education

In particular, Laurinaitis was born on December 3, 1986, in Wayzata, a city in Hennepin County, Minnesota.

To point out, his father was a former WWE Hall of Famer, Joe Laurinaitis, or ‘Road Warrior Animal.’ Besides, Julie was her mother, and Jessica and Joseph Jr. are his siblings.

James Laurinaitis with his father Joe.
James Laurinaitis with his father, Joe.

Actually, there was more athleticism in his family as his uncles, John and Marcus, also were professional wrestlers.

Soon, he had joined Wayzata High School, where he became involved with football and hockey. In fact, he was about to be included in the National Hockey League draft.

However, James had other plans as he wanted to have a football career despite having a brilliant high-school career in hockey.

Moreover, he had 193 tackles and five sacks in his senior career as he saw the school tea play the state championship game in Class 5A.

James Laurinaitis | College career

Soon after completing high school, James joined Ohio State University to play for the Ohio State Buckeyes football team in 2005.

In his freshman year, he was No. 2 on the depth chart and played all of the team’s 12 games. Notably, he had started in a win against Notre Dame Fighting Irish in Fiesta Bowl.

James Laurinaitis playing for Ohio State Buckeyes.
James Laurinaitis is playing for Ohio State Buckeyes.

Next season, he recorded 115 tackles with five interceptions and four sacks, which was the team’s best figure.

Similarly, he earned the Nagurski Award for the best defensive player in the nation. Furthermore, he secured a spot in All-Big Ten first-team and consensus All-American first-team.

No doubt, his levels increased the next season, too, as he earned an All-American first-team selection in 2007.

Next year, he earned several titles, including the Rotatory Lombardi Award and Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. As a matter of fact, he led his team in tackles in the last three years.

James Laurinaitis | Professional career

Certainly, Laurinaitis was brilliant at his college, which motivated him to compete for NFL teams’ selections.

Accordingly, he joined the NFL Scouting, where he performed all the stuff required for his position.

Notably, analysts like Mike Mayock ranked him the second-best for the inside linebacker prospect.

St. Louis Rams

Ultimately, St. Louis Rams poached him in the 2009 NFL Draft in the second round. In fact, he was the fourth linebacker selected in the season’s draft.

Soon, he signed for the Rams with a four-year, $5.1 million deal by which he received $3.3 million guaranteed.

James Laurinaitis after the game against the New York Jets.
James Laurinaitis after the game against the New York Jets.

Without delay, he began training with the team as a starting middle linebacker, which the coach Steve Spagnuolo confirmed later.

As a matter of fact, he debuted in the regular-season opener against Seattle Seahawks, where he had 14 combined tackles in a 28-0 loss.

Furthermore, the first interception came for him in October against the Minnesota Vikings coached by Mike Zimmer. Similarly, he made his first career sack on Matt Hasselbeck against the Seahawks in week 12.

Overall, he had 120 combined tackles (107 solos), two interceptions, and two sacks in 16 appearances in his debut season.

Increased role in the team

Meanwhile, Laurinaitis had made a definitive spot at his position in the team and secured his spot at the starting lineup.

In like manner, he recorded eight combined tackles, a sack, and an interception in a 20-10 win against the Carolina Panthers in October 2010.

James Laurinaitis lining up in the middle of the defense.
James Laurinaitis is lining up in the middle of the defense.

Similarly, Laurinaitis had 11 combined tackles on each of the losses against the Atlanta Falcons and Kansas City Chiefs.

Indeed, he started all 16 games of the 2010 season, having made 114 combined tackles, three sacks, and an interception altogether.

Likewise, he made 13 solo tackles against the Seahawks and 14 combined tackles against the New York Giants in the 2011 season.

Not to mention, he had an overall stat of 142 combined tackles with two interceptions and three sacks in his 16 appearances in the 2011 season.

Contract extension and reformation in the team

Notably, the head coach and general manager were sacked in early 2012 to bring Jeff Fisher as the head coach.

To point out, Laurinaitis agreed to a contract extension for five years, which was worth $42.12 million, with a signing bonus of $2 million.

James Laurinaitis defends the ball against DuJuan Harris.
James Laurinaitis defends the ball against DuJuan Harris.

Laurinaitis had made 14 combined tackles against Desmond Howard’s Green Bay Packers in Week 7 of the 2012 season.

Also, he had 12 combined tackles and two pass deflections in week 16 against Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Overall, he had 142 combined tackles and two interceptions at the end of the season.

No surprise, with Tim Walton as the new defensive coordinator, Laurinaitis was the starting middle linebacker for the Rams in the 2013 season too.

Indeed, with improving performance each season, he had two interceptions, 3.5 sacks, and nine pass deflections in the season too.

Key Man for the Rams and Departure

No matter who is the coach or defensive coordinator of the team, James was always the key part of the defensive at the middle linebacker position.

In particular, he made 1.5 sacks with a deflected pass against the Washington Redskins in Week 14 of the 2014 season.

After all, he had 109 combined tackles with 3.5 sacks in 16 games that season.

James Laurinaitis defends the ball against the San Francisco 49ers.
James Laurinaitis defends the ball against the San Francisco 49ers.

To point out, the first safety of his career came against the San Francisco 49ers that featured Reggie Bush and Colin Kaepernick in Week 8 of the 2015 season.

Similarly, he made 109 combined tackles with one each passing deflection, sack, and an interception.

On the whole, Laurinaitis had made 852 combined tackles with 34 pass deflections and ten interceptions for the Rams throughout the eight seasons.

Besides, he had started every regular-season game for them. With this considered, he was released from the team in February 2016.

New Orleans Saints and Retirement

Soon, he signed for the New Orleans Saints with a three-year, $8.25 million contract that included a signing bonus of $1.8 million in March 2016.

Similarly, he was included as the middle linebacker in the starting team against the Oakland Raiders in the season opener.

James Laurinaitis with the New Orleans Saints.
James Laurinaitis with the New Orleans Saints.

In fact, James had a streak of 115 consecutive starts until he was sidelined due to an injury he picked up in the game against the Atlanta Falcons.

Again, he injured his quadriceps and saw himself waived out of the injured reserve in November. Next year in April, he declared his retirement.


Soon after retiring from the NFL, he was offered to work as a college football analyst for the Big Ten Network, which he accepted.

Similarly, he started co-hosting a weekly Ohio State show on the regional sports network SportsTime Ohio.

You can find James Laurinaitis news, season stats, highlights, and much more information on the NFL website.

James Laurinaitis | Awards and Recognitions

Although James had a pretty good NFL career, he did not earn any significant awards or titles as an NFL player.

However, he was phenomenal during his college days, clinching some regional and national level titles.

James Laurinaitis shows his Lott trophy with his father.
James Laurinaitis shows his Lott trophy with his father.

Significantly, he has won the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year two times, becoming the only player in history to do so.

Similarly, he is a three-time consensus All-American and three-time All-Big Ten first-team player.

Likewise, he has earned Lott Trophy, Butkus Award, and Bronko Nagurski Trophy as a defensive player.

James Laurinaitis | Net Worth and Salary

For sure, James has had a successful NFL career with eight years on the top flight. Accordingly, he has accumulated a fortune totaling $35.4 million as a player only.

In fact, he had a $2.7 million per year deal with the New Orleans Saints before he retired.

James Laurinaitis has an approximated net worth of $3 million as of

Not to mention, James owns a lavish home in Missouri worth $2.3 million with an area of 7000 sq. foot.

Furthermore, he worked for broadcasting companies like Big Ten Network and SportsTime Ohio. Henceforth, it can be assumed that he lives a luxurious life with adequate wealth on hand.

James Laurinaitis | Autograph

Here’s a picture of James’s autograph:

James Laurinaitis’ Autograph

James Laurinaitis | Career Highlights

Laurinaitis on the football field is a treat to watch. You can watch his career highlights:

Is James Laurinaitis single? Wife and Kids

Indeed, James is a married man. In fact, he was in a relationship with Shelly Williams for a long time since their days at Ohio State University.

Eventually, the couple tied the knot of marriage in March 2013 after dating for several years. Their beautiful wedding was held on at The Ivory Room in Columbus, Ohio. 

James Laurinaitis with his wife and daughters.
James Laurinaitis with his wife and daughters.

In like manner, the couple had their first child, a daughter named London, in September 2014. Also, they had another daughter, Hayden, in April 2017.  

As of now, the couple lives happily raising their daughters. Furthermore, no affairs have been heard of him until now.

How old is James Laurinaitis?Age, Height & Body Measurements

Having been born on December 3, 1986, makes James 37 years old at the moment.

Now talking about his physique, James has a muscular build. He stands 6 feet 2 inches (188 cm) tall and weighs 112 kg (248 lbs).

Likewise, to keep himself active and fit, Laurinaitis also does different workouts and eats balanced foods.

Social Media Presence:

To be sure, James is a retired man now and is enjoying his life with his family.

No doubt, we can see glimpses of him spending quality time with his loved ones in his social media accounts.

As of now, he is active on social media handles, including Instagram and Twitter.

Twitter: 50.8 thousand followers

Some FAQs:

Is James Laurinaitis a free agent?

No, James Laurinaitis is not a free agent.

When did James Laurinaitis’ dad Joe Laurinaitis die?

James Laurinaitis’ dad, Joe Laurinaitis, or you may be familiar with Road Warrior Animal, was a former WWE wrestler and a Hall of Famer.

In fact, he died on September 22, 2020, at the age of 60, at the Margaritaville Resort in Missouri. To clarify, he is said to die of natural causes.

Why did James Laurinaitis retire?

After eight years of career in the NFL, James Laurinaitis retired on April 11, 2017, ten days after his second daughter’s birth.

In fact, he was suffering a series of injuries that had ruined his performance in the 2016 season, where he had started only three games.

As a result, the New Orleans Saints had waved him off their injured reserve.

As a result, it can be speculated as to the reason for his retirement. Not to mention, he served as a football analyst after retirement.

What does James Laurinaitis do currently?

James Laurinaitis currently works as an analyst for the Big Ten Network.

When was James Laurinaitis drafted?

James Laurinaitis was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft.

How much is Jame Laurinaitis St. Louis house worth?

According to sources, James Laurinaitis St. Louis house is worth $2.3-million.

Does James Laurinaitis have tattoos?

Yes, James Laurinaitis has a large tattoo on each arm. 

What is James Laurinaitis NFL Combine score?

40 Yard Dash 4.72 seconds
40 Yard (MPH): 17.33 (MPH)
20 Yard Split: 2.72 seconds
10 Yard Split: 1.59 seconds
20 Yd Shuttle: 4.18 seconds
Three Cone: 6.81 seconds

Is James Laurinaitis Greek?

It is believed that James Laurinaitis comes from greek background. His ancestors were greeks.

Aaditya Bhatta
Aaditya Bhatta

Aaditya Bhatta

Aaditya Bhatta is a dynamic writer and sports enthusiast, whose passion for both realms is reflected in his work. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for storytelling, Aaditya brings a unique perspective to his writing, captivating readers with his engaging content.


Sports Analysis Content Creation


  • Aaditya has consistently delivered insightful analysis and captivating content across various platforms.
  • From in-depth match reports to thought-provoking opinion pieces, Aaditya's versatility shines through in his ability to tackle diverse topics


Aaditya's journey as a writer and sports aficionado began at a young age when he discovered his passion for both pursuits. Throughout his academic and professional endeavors, Aaditya has honed his skills in content creation and sports analysis, immersing himself in the intricacies of the games he loves.

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