Projecting Surprise Cuts For The Rams
By Saturday, the Rams and the rest of the league have to cut down to their 53-man rosters. The gridiron prognosticators have been posting their projections and, as per the usual, their picks are chalk top to bottom. But every year there are cuts made that almost no one saw coming.
For several reasons, the Rams are a prime example of a team that is about to make some surprising moves. Firstly, GM Les Snead is never far from making bold personnel changes. Secondly, there have been several alterations that demand shifts occur. Namely the change in defensive coordinator and the departure of key skill players, Todd Gurley and Brandin Cooks. Thirdly, the Rams are still handcuffed by major salary cap issues.
For those reasons, the following players are candidates to cut before Saturday.
Gerald Everett – TE
The Rams tight end room is feeling a little full these days and Everett may find himself the odd man out when the deadline rolls around. Tyler Higbee had a breakout season last year and with the addition of Brycen Hopkins in this year’s draft and Johnny Mundt’s role in the offense diversifying, Everett’s $1.9 million cap hit is increasingly expendable.
Everett is by no means a bad player, but with the Rams, he will continue to play mediocre football. Sean McVay has admittedly had issues “utilizing his skillset” and Higbee is becoming the clear frontrunner. It would actually end up being a rare win-win cut situation. There are plenty of teams that would snatch him up right away and then the Rams could give Higbee the lion’s share of work, while also being able to get Hopkins some snaps.
Josh Reynolds – WR
Reynolds has a two-fold problem to deal with. One, Van Jefferson looks like he’s going to take his starting role. Two, he needs to prove that he is worth his $2.3 million cap hit. That will be nearly impossible if Jefferson continues impressing everyone.
Reynolds filled in for the injured Cooper Kupp in 2018. He played well, but not enough to turn anyone’s head. He caught 39 passes, for 402 yards and five touchdowns that season.
Essentially, having both Reynold and Jefferson on the roster is redundant. If the Rams can open up a roster spot for another position and save $1.3 million in cap space in the process, opting to cut Reynolds makes all the sense in the world.
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Ogbonnia Okoronkwo – EDGE/LB
Okoronkwo may be the first victim of the installation of the Brandon Staley defense. Exhibit A: Staley brought on Leonard Floyd and the team drafted Terrell Lewis. Both of these men are tall with massive wingspans. Exhibit B: Okoronkwo is a smaller linebacker that fit well in the Wade Phillips system. Simply put, he isn’t what Staley is looking for. He wants guys like Floyd and Lewis, who are 6’5”. Okoronkwo is 6’1”.
Okoronkwo not being selected by Staley is also not a good sign. Staley has already shown loyalty to ‘his guys’, bringing Floyd on early into free agency. Staley coached Floyd in Chicago.
Lastly, Okoronkwo didn’t set the world on fire in his rookie season, which makes it even easier for the Rams to move on. Had he had an amazing season, a case could be made to hang onto him. As of now, he is taking a spot away from Staley’s masterplan.
What do you think? Could these guys end up being cut before the season starts? Hit us up on Twitter and vote below!