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2016 Rams Roster Preview: TE Justice Cunningham Is On His Way Out

Justice Cunningham has to have an unreal offseason if he wants to stay in Los Angeles.

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

A few years ago, Justice Cunningham was the final pick of the 2013 NFL Draft, earning him that year's "Mr. Irrelevant" title. With his career constantly in limbo, the title holds true.

Cunningham was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts, but he did not last there very long. He made it to the end of November of that season before being waived. A couple days after the Colts let him go, the Rams signed him to their practice squad and he has been (sort of) with the Rams ever since.

For a little over two seasons, Cunningham has flip-flopped between being active, being on the practice squad and being unemployed. He has constantly been moved around by the Rams since his original signing with the team. Whenever the Rams chose to activate a fourth tight end, he was their guy.

Roster Battle

Los Angeles' 2016 draft class does not bode well for Cunningham's career. Despite letting Jared Cook walk, Cunningham's job is in jeopardy because of Tyler Higbee and Temarrick Hemingway (roster preview), the two tight ends that the Rams drafted on the third day of the draft. Higbee will certainly make the roster and Hemingway's athleticism should earn him a spot as well.

The Rams return Lance Kendricks and Cory Harkey, too. Harkey is a hybrid fullback/tight end whose versatility should earn him a spot once again. Kendricks' spot on the team is also safe. Cunningham is going to need a miracle to dethrone any of these players.


Cunningham has some athleticism to his game. For a 260-ish pound player, he has enough explosion and agility to his game to make himself a viable receiver. That said, he is not a more interesting athlete than either of the two rookie tight ends, and he does not have the savvy that Kendricks does.

Chances of Making Final Roster (1/10)

It's nearly impossible to find a spot on the active roster for Cunningham. The Rams certainly won't carry five tight ends, even though that would be peak Fisherball. Cunningham, a veteran who has likely already shown everything he has in him, should not get a roster spot over the team's best veteran tight end, a versatile hybrid player or two athletic rookies.