If there was any reason to believe that the LA Rams added quarterback Devlin Hodges to be more than a camp arm, that was all put to rest at the moment that the team decided to hand over the reins to the second preseason game entirely to Bryce Perkins. In that instant, Hodges was already one foot out the door.
It’s not that Hodges did anything to embarrass himself. It’s simply the fact that the Rams run a rather complex offense and his competition, Bryce Perkins, was spotted an entire year of the subject matter before Hodges ever saw the playbook. Hodges parting here at this spot may not trigger his agent’s phone ringing off the hook, but he will have opportunities later this year if a team must respond to an untimely injury.
Why was he waived now?
Originally expected to play the last preseason game in a bit of a swan song for the Rams, as well as to audition his wares to attract the interest of other NFL teams, his earlier than expected parting may simply be the result of a veteran seeing the writing on the wall and requesting his release now. On the other hand, it could be an indication that quarterback John Wolford, who has been withheld from preseason games, will be competing in the last preseason game. That would be a wise decision on his part, as Bryce Perkins has looked rather impressive and likely has closed the gap significantly between himself and Wolford on the team’s depth chart.
What does this mean for the LA Rams?
Well, the earlier-than-expected dismissal of Hodges certainly clears the way for a more direct head-to-head comparison between Perkins and Wolford. Even if Wolford retains his backup quarterback role for the 2021 NFL season, it’s likely to eliminate any leverage he may have hoped for in negotiating a new contract extension to remain with the LA Rams in 2022 and beyond.
All told, this wave of roster cuts has done nothing more than trim a bit more of the fat off the team’s roster. But that was to be expected, as the team has added a significant number of young players in the offseason. The final cut will be incredibly dramatic, as the Rams will likely be forced to part ways with defensive backs, linebackers, defensive linemen, wide receivers, and offensive linemen who could be claimed by other teams and actually contribute in 2021.
Sentiment or pragmatism. Loyalty or ruthless competition. The final 27 players released by the LA Rams in a week’s time will be very painful indeed. One more week. One more preseason game. It’s now or never for players on the Rams bubble. Let’s play some football.