The Los Angeles Rams made a pair of surprising moves on Tuesday afternoon when they cut both Darrell Henderson and Justin Hollins. These moves were rather precarious as Henderson was the team’s leading rusher and Hollins gave the Rams depth at edge rusher opposite of Leonard Floyd.
However, with both players on expiring contracts, there was some logic behind these moves. Neither Henderson not Hollins were going to be a part of the Rams’ future. Move on from them now and get clarity on what the roster needs this offseason.
Sitting at 3-7, it makes some sense to make these moves now to give guys like Kyren Williams, Terrell Lewis, and potentially even Daniel Hardy reps in those spots. General manager Les Snead likes to accumulate compensatory picks in the draft. Therefore Henderson and Hollins will likely be the end of any surprising cuts for the rest of the season.
With that said, the list of players that the Rams move on from, shouldn’t stop at Henderson and Hollins. Here are three more players that the Rams need to move on from in the 2022 offseason.
1. S Taylor Rapp
Given the Rams’ depth at safety, it is rather surprising that the Rams didn’t cut Rapp on Tuesday. Rapp has allowed a reception on 80 percent of his targets this season which is tied for the eighth-highest rate in the NFL this season.
While Jalen Ramsey allowed Chris Olave to get behind him, he was expecting Rapp’s help over the top. Instead, Rapp got caught looking underneath as the deep safety and both players got burned.
This is Rapp’s fourth year on the Rams and he simply hasn’t improved in coverage. He remains a liability on the backend of the Rams defense. With Russ Yeast and Quentin Lake behind him, these are players that should see more snaps moving forward. The only reason for the Rams to keep Rapp at this point is that they link they can get a decent comp pick for him next season.
2. OL Bobby Evans
Overall, the Rams have done a good job developing young offensive linemen. Alaric Jackson, Chandler Brewer, David Edwards, and Coleman Shelton are prime examples of that. However, that hasn’t been the case with Evans.
While he showed promise as a rookie, he hasn’t shown that same ability since. The only offensive linemen to grade worse this season according to Pro Football Focus is Miami’s Greg Little.
BE71's pass blocking grade yesterday was 13.9— Cameron DaSilva (@camdasilva) November 21, 2022
In games where he played more than 15 snaps, he has pass blocking grades of:
His 16.4 PB grade is the worst among all O-linemen with 200+ snaps played
If the Rams had more bodies on the offensive line, it’s very possible that Evans would have been cut by now. However, given that the Rams don’t have another option at this point in the season, Evans continues to get snaps. His contract is up at the end of the season and it’s highly unlikely that the Rams bring him back. The offensive line needs an overhaul and that starts with Evans.
3. OL Joe Noteboom
The best ability is availability. If the Rams cut Henderson because he was often hurt, then it makes sense to do the same with Noteboom. The Rams offensive line is going to need completely overhauled this offseason. Noteboom has consistently been injured when he’s been given a starting role, and the Rams are paying too much for him to be a backup.
If the Rams designate Noteboom as a post-June 1 cut, they would save around $8M in cap space, but also have a cap his of around $7M. They could also trade him post-June 1 and save $13.5M according to OverTheCap.
While Noteboom played well in moments as a depth piece behind Andrew Whitworth, he allowed 23 pressures in six games which is one less than Rob Havenstein has allowed all season. It’s clear that Noteboom isn’t the future at left tackle. While it’s understandable that they brought him back last season, this is one of a few admissions of error that the Rams will need to make this offseason.