The new regime in St. Louis clearly has an “out with the old, in with the new” mentality. It is always tough for recent draftees when new coaches join a team. Aside from supremely talented, first-rounders, a draft is typically formulated around a particular style of offense or defense, or the types of players that a coach likes. A lot of time this leads do some dramatic turnover in the roster once the new coach arrives. This can be exacerbated by the presence of a new General Manager, especially one whose previous job was the Director of Personnel. In St. Louis, they have both and we are starting to see that change in roster unfold.
Earlier this week, the St. Louis Rams made a sudden trade with the New York Jets to send second overall pick Jason Smith away. Not only did we trade him for another underwhelming tackle in Wayne Hunter, but reports soon came in that we, in fact, paid to get Jason Smith out of our hair.
Bottom line on Smith-Hunter trade: by assuming $1.55 million of Smith’s 2012 pay in the trade, the Rams do not realize any cap savings.
— Jim Thomas (@jthom1) August 29, 2012
To most this was a breathe of fresh air. Finally, a coach and a GM that care more about how you perform on the field than the place you were taken in your respective draft. Smith had been given one last shot at a spot, but failed again, even with one of the greatest offensive line coaches in the NFL trying to get the most out of him. Yesterday, we saw more of the old regime players packing there bags,
#Rams have traded WR Greg Salas to New England for an undisclosed future draft pick and released CB Jerome Murphy. Roster at 53.
— St. Louis Rams (@STLouisRams) September 2, 2012
Salas was almost a surefire lock at the start of the preseason in most peoples eyes. However, with Alexander on the injury/IR list and Pettis not counting against the 53-man roster until week 3 of the regular season, the wide receiver battle quickly narrowed to between a handful of players. Apparently, the new staff saw more upside in Gibson than 2011 fourth-rounder Greg Salas, since he was shipped away for a late-round, unconditional draft choice in 2015 from the Patriots.
We had also heard rumblings of Brandon Fletcher being used as trade bait, but that will clearly not be the case with the release of Jerome Murphy. With rookies, Johnson, McLeod, Daniels, and Jenkins all making the 53-man roster and Brandon Fletcher’s return from injury, Murphy was the low man on the totem pole in the secondary.
Roster cut time is a waivers frenzy, with teams making tough cuts and other scrambling to pick up missing pieces for their offense or defense. We will have to see how the rest of this week pans out…