On Tuesday, the St. Louis Rams have signed six players from their practice squad to future contracts.
A reserve/future contract is for players that are not on an active roster when the season ends. This means that a team can lock up players that they are interested in keeping before free agency comes along to hold on to for developmental purposes.
Here are the six players the Rams locked up:
G David Arkin
Arkin was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 2011. Arkin was a member of the Cowboys, Dolphins, and currently is on the Rams hidden on the practice squad. It would be a surprise if Arkin develops into anything more than a backup caliber player. It does help that Arkin has experience as an guard and center.
TE Justice Cunningham
Cunningham has been with the Rams for a while. He is small in stature and is not anything more than a blocking tight end. He does not have any upside as a receiver.
LB Zack Hodges
Hodges was an undrafted free agent in last years draft and he's a former defensive end from Harvard. Hodges He is pretty athletic and does show pass rushing potential. He is probably best suited for a 3-4 defense, but the the Rams like to have defensive players with different skill sets.
FB Zach Laskey
Laskey is a young fullback out of Georgia Tech. Yes, the college team that runs the option. Laskey is not your normal full back, in his senior year he ran for more than 800 yards and led his team with nine touchdowns. The Rams placed Laskey on the practice squad after the preseason. Laskey did not play in any games, but with Cory Harkey potentially leaving in free agency, there could be a chance that Laskey takes over the fullback/tight end role.
WR Deon Long
The St.Louis Rams needed help at wide receiver this season and next season could be more of the same, however maybe Long could be a diamond in the rough. Long played at Maryland with a quarterback that wasn't much and NFL rookie breakout Stefon Diggs. More than likely, the 6-foot, 4.5 second 40-running receiver is headed towards the slot if the rookie is to get a shot next season. However, with the Rams receiver depth being so light, he could stick along. Here is his draft profile.
LB/S Matthew Wells
Wells has not had a lucky career as a rookie, being drafted in the six round by the New England Patroits and then traded to the Chicago Bears a couple of months later. As a player think of Wells like he's Mark Barron. he's one of those linebacker/safety hybrids that has the speed to make plays. Wells will have to stick out on speical teams next season, but he could become a depth or sub-package player. Here is an interesting note on Wells, he is legally blind in his right eye.