LA Rams shake up roster, release 3. Will more be on the way?
By Bret Stuter
Less edge to the pass rush
The LA Rams’ defense had been the lone bright spot of the team, but since the team’s BYE week, the defense has allowed an average of 25.5 points per game. Making matters worse, the Rams had the lead in three of those four games. So yes, there are problems with this defense as well.
The Rams have already cut promising defensive back Terrell Burgess, a promising secondary player who was an ideal fit for then-DC Brandon Staley’s camouflaged coverage. Now the Rams are parting ways with another defensive player who was an ideal fit for the Rams’ 2020 defense.
This time, the Rams are releasing ILB/OLB Justin Hollins, a player who the Rams picked up thanks to Staley’s recommendation. While not crushing it this season, the guy is one of only several players who can play at the outside linebacker position for the Rams this season. With his release, the Rams are down to just veteran OLB Leonard Floyd and Terrell Lewis as healthy players at the position.
You may recall that it was Justin Hollins who was involved in the October 3rd sideline fracas with then-just-acquired DE/OLB Takk McKinley. McKinley was released shortly after that incident, two weeks later, and now Hollins follows him in being released. Once more, Hollins is not having a pro bowl type of season. But the Rams have nearly exhausted their roster with healthy outside linebackers, with only Floyd and Lewis healthy and on the active roster.
Rams roster rotating to rookies?
If the plan is to reinstate OLB Daniel Hardy, the Rams would have placed him on the IR/Designated to Return list. If the Rams wanted to sign someone to the active roster from their practice squad, the Rams would elevate them until three elevations were exhausted, Then, the team has plenty of thick positions with fewer contributing players to consider parting ways with.
In the end, the Rams cut a player who has played in 10 games and started five games this season. If waiving him improves the Rams’ pass rush, why wait until now? Are the Rams trying to save salary dollars for 2023 by cutting marginal performers now? Is the plan somehow focused on adding young replacements and giving them a look through the remainder of this season?
The Rams are not tanking, as four of their original picks in the 2023 NFL Draft are held by the Detroit Lions (Round 1), the New England Patriots (Round 4), the Cleveland Browns (Round 5), and the Green Bay Packers (Round 7) respectively.
The Rams have never been this bad under head coach Sean McVay, and it’s hard to understand what drives the decisions to part ways with contributors here and now. But even more confusing is the question of whether more players will be released in the coming days. If there are, how will the Rams replace them?
Even more questions without answers. Pay attention folks, as the LA Rams are making moves without a discernable pattern or logic. That means, for the immediate future, anything goes.