St. Louis begins to shed some weight with first round of cuts


Tuesday, September 1st marks the day all NFL teams need to have their active rosters trimmed to just 75 names. The St. Louis Rams got started early on Monday and made 12 roster moves leaving them with a total of 77 players. They are still two away from reaching the mandated 75, but they are a lot closer than most.

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This round of cuts didn’t surprise many, but did include a player who had become something of a preseason favorite with some stand out plays. Undrafted cornerback Imoan Claiborne was an unlucky recipient of the NFL’s version of a pink slip as he couldn’t find his way into a crowded secondary in St. Louis, even with the injury to starting corner E. J. Gaines.

One of the moves completed by the Rams Monday was placing the aforementioned Gaines on injured reserve effectively ending his 2015 before it even began.

Also, wide receiver prospect Damian Williams had his contract terminated making him a free agent.

The team then proceeded to waive ten more players. These included OT Steve Baker out of East Carolina, OT Travis Bond out of North Carolina, S Jay Hughes out of Mississippi State, LS Tyler Ott out of Harvard, K/P Michael Palardy out of Tennessee, WR Tyler Slavin out of New Mexico, TE Brad Smelley out of Alabama, LB Korey Toomer out of Idaho and C David Wang out of Virginia Tech. Claiborne was also included on this list.

Aug 1, 2015; Earth City, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams cornerback E.J. Gaines (33) at Rams Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Claiborne certainly stands out as a prospect with potential and head coach Jeff Fisher has expressed interest in keeping him in house as a member of the practice squad.

Smelley was a member of the Rams last year after signing in mid-August. He would last two weeks before succumbing to final cuts and join the practice squad in early September.

Offensive tackle Bond was a member of the Carolina Panthers as recently as 2013, but was another practice squad player for St. Louis in 2014. Depth on the offensive line is certainly a concern for the Rams in 2015, but neither Baker nor Bond were going to provide much help there. Wang never really held much merit in the competition for depth at the center position.

Linebacker Toomer was another casualty of trying to earn a spot on one of the top defensive units in the league. Toomer entered the league as a fifth round draft pick in 2012 and played for the Dallas Cowboys in 2014. Toomer failed to break free from the practice squad last year with the Rams.

St. Louis will still need to make two more roster moves before the day is out Tuesday to reduce their roster down to the required 75 players before the final preseason game. The Rams will look to end their preseason on a high note when they play their in-state rival, the Kansas City Chiefs, on Thursday night at 8pm ET.