LA Rams face tough decisions at punter, QB, LB, and IR

Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams must make 21 cuts from their roster today. If they’ve acted in that direction, they haven’t exactly been very forthcoming. Since the deadline is 1:00 pm PT on Tuesday, August 31, 2021, that means that less than seven hours remain. That’s averaging three players per hour for the next seven hours. After sharing the names of six players at noon on August 30th, things have slowed down.

Way down.

So what could have been the cause of such a snail’s pace? Well, to borrow that tired old cliche, complications developed.

There is a choreography about waiving players. Too soon and every other team has plenty of time to review the list with analytics, and poach any players who possess intriguing promise for a successful NFL career. Too late and the NFL has penalties that are severe enough to ensure that mistake never happens again.

NFL Roster

It’s the ultimate game of ‘chicken’, where NFL general managers match up in the staring contest with up to 31 other NFL general managers over to trade or not to trade, to commit a player to Injured reserve, or not to commit a player to injured reserve, to waive or not to waive a player. There is no correct path for a team to get from 80 to 53 players. There are strategies. There are probabilities. But the concept that the teams have complete control over their roster is actually not true.

They need a bit of luck too.

Right now, that luck comes in several forms. Will the LA Rams be able to find a willing trade partner to exchange draft picks for players who are no longer part of the Rams plans? Or will those teams take their chances at successfully submitting a claim for a waived player? After all, only one team is awarded a waived player, and that player will be awarded to 2020’s worst team. So yes, there is an incentive to trade, rather than play the waiver wire for most teams.

light. Must Read. LA Rams Roster cuts tracker and analysis for 2021 season

Who could pique interest?  ILB Micah Kiser has been named. OT Bobby Evans. Even P Johnny Hekker.

The other complication is what to do about those injured players. If the team commits them to Injured Reserve before getting to 53-players for the 1:00 pm deadline, then they will be on IR for the duration of the season.  So the Rams must carry the players to the deadline, then assign those players to Injured reserve, and then re-sign any players back to the roster to restore the 53-man limit. That is all like trying to unpack a piece of luggage and repack it on a windy day on the tarmac. It takes a lot of skill to succeed.

Finally, there are the notifications to the players themselves. And until all of the other details are known, you simply don’t dangle any meeting with the circumstances that are as yet unknown to the player. So this is a bit of patience and steady progress. The dark before the dawn. When the next wave of roster cuts are released, they will likely be rather extensive.

Trending. Will the LA Rams make another trade in the next 24 hours?. light

For now, hunker down. We wait. And so do 31 other NFL teams, to see if the Rams have parted ways with anyone they’d like to add to their own rosters.