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Rams release Travin Howard, hero of NFC championship game

LA cleared $2.54M in cap space to re-work contracts for Aaron Donald and Cooper Kupp

NFL: NFC Championship-San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams have waived inside linebacker Travin Howard, who caught the game-sealing interception of Jimmy Garoppolo in the 2021 NFC championship game and sent the Rams to the Super Bowl.

LA recently retained Howard using a restricted free agent tender at a cost of $2.54M, and releasing him opens up the same amount of cap space with no dead money.

Howard was drafted by the Rams in the seventh round of the 2018 draft - and he battled injuries to eventually become the defensive hero of last year’s NFC championship game. As a converted safety from his time at TCU, Howard has developed into a skilled pass coverage linebacker.

Howard was solidly in the third position on the depth chart behind emerging second-year player Ernest Jones and the recently signed Bobby Wagner. Wagner figures to be an every-down linebacker in his first season in LA, but the team will want to get Jones on the field as much as possible.

In a crowded linebacker room, the team seemingly couldn’t find space for Howard on the roster. It’s possible - if not likely - that a team will place a waiver claim for the linebacker, though the Rams could be interested in asking Howard to return at a lower price should he go through waivers unclaimed.