Tre Mason is a fair microcosm of the Rams' problems in the last four years in building out a roster and getting over the .500 hump.
The bigger issue is how the Rams have managed themselves into this glut. They delayed playing Zac Stacy in favor of starting Daryl Richardson in 2013. Once Stacy proved to be the better back (which he was the entire time), Richardson was cast off.
The Rams then drafted Mason , a move I was critical of at the time with Stacy having resolved the major RB issue and outstanding issues elsewhere on the roster (hello, offensive line). Nonetheless, Mason had a very fine rookie season statistically.
Now, the Rams have drafted [Todd] Gurley, a move I was critical of the time with Mason and Stacy having resolved the major RB issue and outstanding issues elsewhere on the roster (hello, offensive line).
Gurley would go on to have a wonderful rookie season, superior to Mason's the year prior, though the Rams' offense overall was much worse (again, if that doesn't help clarify the limitations of the running back position, you're either not paying attention or actively ignoring it).
In May 2015, we were wondering if both Mason and Gurley could eclipse the 1,000 yard mark (nearly 2/3rds of poll respondents in that one said the chances were 50% or better that they would...)
In March of this year, Mason was arrested on multiple charges ("resisting arrest, possession of cannabis, reckless driving and failure to register a motor vehicle") compounded with being treated at the hospital for undisclosed injuries.
The court initially served a warrant for his arrest before retracting it due to being sent to an incorrect address...perhaps he didn't hear about it on the internet. The case is currently scheduled on the docket for July 28. With that case outstanding, Mason has been absent from the Rams' organized team activities as part of Phase III of the 2016 NFL Offseason, something Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher addressed yesterday after practice:
(On if the running back depth chart has become more unsettled with Tre Mason’s absence)
"No, it’s settled right now. I’m pleased with where it’s going. Malcolm’s (Brown) done a great job there as the third, and Chase (Reynolds) is always a guy that you can count on. And we have a couple young guys that we’re going to let play. In our minds, we just have to prepare ourselves that Tre’s not going to be here."
With Just Todd Gurley atop the depth chart and plenty of options in the RB depth chart including Benny Cunningham, Brown, UDFA Aaron Green (roster preview) and newly-signed Terrence Magee, there's no certainty that Mason regains his prior role (if that could even be defined) in the position rotation...and no certainty he regains one at all.
Which leaves us here, on June 9, 2016, wondering if Tre Mason, the third-round pick for the Rams in the 2014 NFL Draft, has played his last snap for the Rams.