The St. Louis Rams released veteran linebacker Na'il Diggs today. Diggs joins three players released yesterday as the team makes its way down to an 80-man roster by tomorrow's deadline. Diggs' departure does not come as a huge surprise to anyone paying attention.
DIggs was added last year as a free agent, giving the Rams some experience on the strongside. Since then, the Rams have added a bevy of free agent linebackers, including Brady Poppinga who replaced Diggs in the starting lineup last week.
A pectoral tear ended Diggs' season with a month to go last year. He recovered in time for training camp, but there were bigger concerns than Diggs' health. Mobility was an issue for Diggs, and he often was caught out of position, unable to get back to make a play. The strongside backers are often asked to cover the flat in the Rams defense, something else the Rams needed to consider in upgrading their linebackers.
Salary likely figured into this move. Diggs carried a $1.25 million cap hit this year. The Rams are right up against the cap, and looking to add a veteran cornerback to replace Jerome Murphy. This gives them more flexibility toward the cap.
They had been named as one team interested in trading for Eagles CB Joselio Hanson, a move that would definitely require some cap room.