Rams make their final cuts and trim roster to 53


Saturday afternoon brought the culmination of an entire offseason to a pinnacle when all NFL teams were required to reduce their rosters down to the final 53 men. The previous weeks first round of cuts wasn’t quite as revealing as this go through, but still had some surprising names. Now that the roster is set and the picture is in full focus the team can begin to concentrate on their Week 1 opponent, division rival Seattle Seahawks.

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On Saturday the St. Louis Rams parted ways with quarterback Austin Davis, tackle Isaiah Battle, tight end Justice Cunningham, defensive tackle Marcus Forston, linebacker Marshall McFadden, cornerback Brandon McGee, safety Christian Bryant, wide receiver Daniel Rodriguez and defensive tackle Louis Trinca-Pasat. The Rams also terminated the contract of line backer Jo-Lonn Dunbar. Running back Trey Watts was placed on the reserved/suspended list. He will sit out the first four games of the regular season for violating the leagues substance abuse policy and does not count against the 53 man total.

Also cut Saturday were TE Alex Bayer, WR Emory Blake, RB Malcolm Brown, CB Montell Garner, S Jacob Hagen, DE Martin Ifedi, C Barrett Jones, FB Zach Laskey, DE Matt Longacre, CB Trovon Reed and G Brandon Washington.

A few names jump out from the list above. First, quarterback Austin Davis. Davis led St. Louis last season while splitting snaps with veteran Shaun Hill. Davis was unpolished, but effective at times.  In 10 games Davis threw for 2,001 yards and 12 touchdowns, but ultimately forfeited snaps to Case Keenum and Rookie Sean Mannion this preseason, sealing his fate.

Aug 29, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams quarterback Austin Davis (9) looks to pass the ball during a football game against the Indianapolis Colts at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

Offensive tackle Isaiah Battle is another surprising victim of final cuts. Battle was selected in the fifth round of the NFL’s supplemental draft this year, forcing the Rams to forfeit their 2016 fifth round pick to obtain him. Word around camp was that Battle had serious potential, but was well behind in his development. The loss of an undeveloped player is not what hurts here, the loss of a draft pick in 2016 stings more.

Veteran linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar couldn’t use his veteran experience to escape the axe either. Dunbar joined St. Louis in 2012 and has made 36 starts over that time. His veteran leadership was welcomed with open arms when he arrived, but the signing of another veteran, Akeem Ayers, in the offseason cranked up a competition Dunbar couldn’t handle.

The reaming players were truly just camp bodies and had a very long shot of making this roster. Tight end Justice Cunningham played in one game for the Rams in 2014. He was a member of the practice squad outside of that. Linebacker Marshall McFadden played five games for the Rams a year ago. he recently spent time with the Oakland Raiders and Pittsburgh Steelers.

Center Barrett Jones was heavily involved in a three way competition for the starting spot with Demetirus Rhaney and Tim Barnes. With Rhaney shifting over to guard to provide depth due to injuries, it may be safe to assume the center spot is all but locked up for Barnes.