It's starting. The 2013 offseason is getting into full swing. The St. Louis Rams made an early move on Tuesday, claiming Titus Young off waivers. The New York Giants kept the momentum going a day later by cutting Ahmad Bradshaw and Chris Canty. Those developments left Rams fans, naturally, wondering which players from the team's current roster might get the boot this week as well.
We've been through this before, either in bits and pieces on the site or elsewhere on the web. Still, it's worth recapping since the Rams could start releasing players at any minute now. They could also wait, depending on a player's contract status and some time to get in compliance with the salary cap.
Hunter was attractive to the Rams because he was a way to ship Jason Smith out of town. He's third on the tackle depth chart, pegged to make almost $4 million in 2013. He also happens to be below league average. The official web site, which has a way of putting the nicest spin on the harsh reality of the business, says the team could approach him about a pay cut. It would be a big surprise if Hunter didn't get the boot.
Hunter's job could be saved by the fact that Barry Richardson, the incumbent starter at right tackle, is a free agent.
Mikell turned out to be a solid player for the Rams secondary this year. However, his play in coverage leaves something to be desired, and he is not the kind of ball-hawking centerfielder usually associated with Jeff Fisher's defenses. More telling perhaps is his $9 million cap hit. The Rams could ask him to restructure, but he has no incentive do so.
Jackson's status with the Rams has been well documented. He has until March 12 to accept or decline a player option for 2013 worth $7 million. He could make a decision ahead of that time, and the deal is structured to give both sides a face-saving way out of a costly deal for a 29-year old running back.
No, I don't think the Rams will release Dahl, but I'm putting him on here because he's an interesting case. Dahl is due to make $4 million this year and the same in 2014. He'll be 32 this season, and ended last year on IR after tearing his biceps in Week 15. Spagnuolo and Devaney signed Dahl, but he goes way back with current offensive line coach Paul Boudreau. Restructuring his contract could be an option.
There could be plenty more players released, but there aren't many others with the kind of hefty contracts that put a target on their back. The other big dollar commitments for the Rams are untouchable players, Sam Bradford, Chris Long, James Laurinaitis, etc.