5 St. Louis Rams Cut Victims Who Deserved a Roster Spot
5 St. Louis Rams Who Didn't Deserve to Get Cut
The St. Louis Rams had to make 20 cuts this past weekend to get down to the 53-man NFL regular season roster limit. This was a particularly tough preposition, considering that GM Les Snead and head coach Jeff Fisher assembled a great class of undrafted free agents, and the Rams already had many spots assured to contributors who were retained from 2012. Though the team stuck mainly to the roster projections that had been set forth for them by reporters and media outlets, there still were some mild surprises among the bunch.
The biggest of those seemed to be Josh Hull, a veteran linebacker and special teams contributor who had spent his first three NFL seasons with the Rams. Another surprising move was the Rams' decision to keep Kellen Clemens as their only backup quarterback and let go second-year gunslinger Austin Davis. One more mild surprise was the team's decision to keep just five wide receivers, all of whom are expected to be weekly contributors to the offensive attack.
Jeff Fisher has said throughout his time with the Rams that his philosophy is to try to keep the same group of players from training camp until the end of the season so that the coaches don't have to teach the Rams' playbook and playing style to new players in the middle of the season. With that in mind, it's possible that we could see any of these players return to the Rams during the year if the team is affected by injuries. However, some of them just played too well during training camp and the preseason to really deserve being released. Here are the five players the Rams cut who were most deserving of a spot on the 53-man roster.
5. Cody Davis, S
Davis was the undrafted free agent who the Rams gave the biggest signing bonus to this offseason, so many people believed that he would be on the 53-man roster to open the year. He was in no way a disappointment, leading the team with 14 tackles during the preseason. The only area in which he lacked somewhat was with the speed portion of his game. He was not a ball hawk by any stretch, nor was he spectacular in coverage.
It was surprising that the Rams decided to keep injured veterans Matt Giordano and Darian Stewart rather than Davis. The 30-year-old Giordano was injured for the entirety of training camp and has not had the opportunity to prove anything on the field for the Rams. It probably would have been more sensible for the Rams just to move on from him and carry Davis on the active roster. Davis was signed to the Rams practice squad, though, so he has a good chance to come back during the season.
4. Rashard Hall, S
Though Davis was the highest-priority undrafted rookie, Hall was more impressive than his fellow safety during camp. The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Clemson product took great advantage of his ball-hawking skills, regularly getting in on plays, nearly intercepting several passes, and forcing a fumble. He also had 12 tackles.
Hall was more reminiscent than any other Ram of a traditional free safety, which may have worked as a disadvantage for him in a defense that has basically employed two strong safeties during Fisher's tenure. Hall wasn't signed to the practice squad, so while he could theoretically be brought back if the Rams make a move, his tenure with the team is likely over, which is somewhat of a disappointment.
3. Andrew Helmick, WR
There must be something wrong with Helmick that is not visible to anyone who just watches him on the field. He had difficulty finding an NFL job, going to several open tryouts before landing with the Rams. The 6-foot, 192-pound Lindenwood University product was impressive whenever he was given an opportunity, and he caught the eyes of fans and media members alike. He made plenty of great catches in training camp before sustaining an injury, and while he only saw offensive action in one preseason game, he caught two passes for 35 yards.
Perhaps Helmick had off-the-field issues, was a bad special teamer, or the team determined that he was too injury-prone. But he sure looked like he had more receiving talent than anyone else competing for the Rams' sixth receiver job, and it was a mild shock when he was released in the cut down from 90 to 75 players. He was not brought back for the practice squad, and it is now unlikely that he will get another NFL opportunity.
2. Austin Davis, QB
It's unclear why the Rams lost so much confidence in Davis; Jeff Fisher said during the spring that he had a good shot at winning the backup job, but the team soon decided to bring back Kellen Clemens to compete with Davis. By training camp, they were splitting reps evenly with the number two offense.
Clemens got off to a horrid start in the preseason and even had a 0.0 quarterback rating in the Rams' second preseason game. Davis appeared to have the edge on the job, but Clemens recovered in the finale and went 13-for-18. In a surprising twist, Clemens won the job outright and Davis was released. It was assumed that he would at least be added to the practice squad, but that didn't happen either.
1. Mason Brodine, DT/DE
Brodine was pretty clearly the Rams' most improved player from last season into the preseason and just became a victim of the numbers game when it came to defensive line spots. He gained about 20 pounds and played almost exclusively from the defensive tackle spot during the exhibition season, registering eight tackles and a fumble recovery. But Brodine was most impressive beyond the statistics, showing the ability to move quickly from the interior and get in on plays. He also showed some skills on special teams, notably when he jumped over the offensive line and used his 6-foot-7 frame to block a field goal.
Brodine has been re-signed to the Rams' practice squad, so hopefully they will be able to find him a 53-man roster spot at some point during the season.