On the bubble: Player 2
I’m fairly certain that the LA Rams were open and honest as the team signed P Riley Dixon to a one-year contract. The Rams had released former punter Johnny Hekker, a player who had starred for them on special teams for many years. But the Rams’ special teams have undergone a bit of a facelift recently.
ST Coordinator John Fassel signed on with the Dallas Cowboys in 2020. At the time, he was able to attract former LA Rams placekicker Greg ‘The Leg’ Zuerlein to join him. In 2021, Rams’ long snapper Jake McQuaide joined Fassel in Dallas. Hekker, who faced some rather stiff punter competition from Corey Bojorquez in 2021, was released this year. At the time of his release, Hekker remained one of the highest-paid punters in the NFL.
Without a punter, the Rams made the wise decision to sign an NFL veteran whose recent performance in 2021 was similar to that of Johnny Hekker. That would fill the Rams ‘need’ for a punter, and allow them to be a bit more discerning and selective in vetting rookies in one of the most robust punting draft classes of modern memory.
The Rams have since signed undrafted rookie Cameron Dicker, a player whose leg is strong enough to serve as either a kicker or punter. The LA Rams signed kicker Matt Gay to a one-year deal, and are quite satisfied with his Pro Bowl season. But Riley Dixon? He was signed as a placeholder to compete for the punter role in the 2022 NFL season. That is, Dicker is not automatically the punter. But the expectation is, from the abundant punting talent found in the 2022 draft class, that the Rams would emerge with their punter.
As a result, Dixon is very likely already sitting on the bubble.