7 Rams must defy the odds and win a 2024 roster spot, even Stetson Bennett?

7 players returning for the LA Rams must beat the odds to remain with the team in 2024. Yes, including backup quarterback Stetson Bennett.
Los Angeles Rams Offseason Workout, Stetson Bennett
Los Angeles Rams Offseason Workout, Stetson Bennett / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages
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II: TE Hunter Long

The front office may have requested that the Miami Dolphins throw in young tight end Hunter Long for good measure when trading All-Pro defensive back Jalen Ramsey, but the plan was for Long to make an impact in 2023. Thanks to nagging repeating injuries, he made almost no impact. That is a problem.

The front office anticipated the exit of former underused tight end Brycen Hopkins by drafting a surprisingly competent and effective TE Davis Allen, a player who returns with some positive momentum and hope for a larger role in 2024. And with the uncertainty of how quickly starting TE Tyler Higbee can return from his own devastating ACL injury, and no way of knowing how effective he will be when he returns, the team signed promising young TE Colby Parkinson to a rather permanent three-year deal worth $22.5 million.

While Long sat on the bench recuperating last season, the team appears to have moved on, and he is likely the fourth tight end option on a roster that almost certainly will not carry more than three tight ends at a time.

Hunter Long stands 6-foot-5 and weighs 243 pounds. In 2023, that was a solid size. But TE Tyler Higbee stands 6-foot-6 and weighs 255 pounds, Davis Allen stands 6-foot-6 and weighs 251 pounds, and newcomer Colby Parkinson stands 6-foot-7 and weighs 265 pounds. So Hunter Long is the smallest veteran TE on the depth chart.

Long held a niche as a superb blocker. But Allen proved to be an solid blocker in 2023, and the Rams signed Parkinson to a three-year deal because he is such an accomplished blocker. The Rams have two tight ends under contract for the next three years. If Hunter Long does not show the coaching staff enough reason to keep him on the roster, this could be his swan song.