LA Rams open spot for Sony Michel, waive LS Steven Wirtel

Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams continue to window dress their roster, albeit on a case-by-case basis, as the team continues to inch closer and closer to the 2021 NFL season. This is a tough challenge for any team, but particularly one for the Rams organization.  The team has addressed some positions that some felt were already quite robust (wide receiver) and has overlooked some positions that some felt were too shallow (offensive line).

That will soon be all behind the team, as the 53-man limit to all 32 teams’ rosters will place all teams and all rosters on an even playing field, numerically speaking. It is then that the Rams hope and believe that their roster-building strategy of investing in multiple elite players can make a difference.

That is not to say that the rest of the roster is not vital to plans to compete in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium. All 53 players must contribute in one way or another to ensure that these LA Rams can earn a berth in the NFL Playoffs this year. To that end, the LA Rams traded a fourth-round draft pick (for now a fifth-round and a sixth-round pick) to the New England Patriots for running back Sony Michel.

Rams Roster

But picks for a player created another need for the LA Rams, one that put their roster over the 80-man roster limit. So before the deal could be finalized, the Rams were obligated to release a player, and have done so by waiving long snapper Steven Wirtel per official transaction page. That leaves Matthew Orzech as the team’s lone surviving long snapper. He now joins placekicker Matt Gay as two players who have all but locked up their starting role on the team.

Wirtel and Orzech faced a very competitive month to get to this point. It should be noted that Special Teams Coordinator Joe DeCamillis had a history with Orzech, and that likely played a part in the final decisions. The last remaining spot for special team competition remaining is at the puter position where Corey Bojorquez will try to wrest the starting punter job from long-time Rams punter Johnny Hekker.

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As to the running game reinforcement of running back Sony Michel, his role will likely be that of a rotation rusher at first. Much like the Rams did in 2020, the team can rotate the various running backs until one gets hot, and then play him with a greater frequency.

The LA Rams have a final preseason game to sort out the lower half of the running back depth chart. But if Darrell Henderson is currently RB1, then Sony Michel is at least RB1A.