The LA Rams had to get down to an 80-man roster for training camp this year and so that leaves at least 27 players to be waived before Week 1, paring the roster down to the usual 53. This year, teams will have two additional active players on game day and expanded practice squads, but 53 is still the number to shoot for if you’re one of those 80 players.
Have you ever stopped to really consider what is on the line for some of these players? Because I know there are plenty of variables I’ve never considered beyond my own selfish desires to think about who gets to play football and make a lot of money and who doesn’t.
Consider someone like Morgan Fox.
He’s been with the Rams since 2016 and played in 16 games in two of the last three seasons, but far from guaranteed a roster spot in 2020. If he makes the team and plays all year again, he makes $825,000 between September and January. If he gets released for a younger, cheaper player who the team thinks can do a comparable job, Fox gets nothing. Plenty of NFL players can go a year without a salary based on how much they’ve already made. But there are many more players like Fox.
Oh well, that is what they signed up for and an opportunity not afforded to many. Some big dreams will come true this year on a Rams roster that is heavy in rookies, undrafted free agents, and players fighting to compete and prove themselves whether it is on offense, defense, and for many of them, special teams.
This is simply one potential 53-man roster. I wouldn’t go to bat necessarily for any of these fringe roster decisions, nobody will accurately predict the final 53 players to make LA’s roster. That’s why it is not a prediction, it is a projection.
Let’s use it as a jumping off point to discuss why certain players are more or less likely to be Rams in mid-September.
QB - Jared Goff, John Wolford
RB - Darrell Henderson, Malcolm Brown, Cam Akers, Xavier Jones
WR - Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Josh Reynolds, Van Jefferson, Nsimba Webster, Easop Winston, Jr
TE - Tyler Higbee, Gerald Everett, Johnny Mundt, Brycen Hopkins
OL - Andrew Whitworth, Rob Havenstein, Austin Blythe, Austin Corbett, David Edwards, Bobby Evans, Brian Allen, Joe Noteboom, Cohl Cabral
S - John Johnson, Taylor Rapp, Nick Scott, Terrell Burgess, Jordan Fuller
CB - Jalen Ramsey, Troy Hill, David Long, Darious Williams, Adonis Alexander, Levonta Taylor
LB - Micah Kiser, Leonard Floyd, Samson Ebukam, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Kenny Young, Travin Howard, Terrell Lewis, Clay Johnston, Christian Rozeboom
DL - Aaron Donald, Michael Brockers, A’Shawn Robinson, Sebastian Joseph-Day, Greg Gaines
ST - Lirim Hajrullahu, Johnny Hekker, Jake McQuaide