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Rams roster cuts: How Sean McVay’s first wave of waives impacts position battles

Punter Riley Dixon has won the job

NFL: Los Angeles Rams Training Camp Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams waived five players on Tuesday to get down to 85 before the NFL’s deadline. Sean McVay will have to cut another five players in a week, following the Rams second preseason game against the Houston Texans on Friday.

Naturally, the first five players released do not tend to be significant surprises. But we learned a little bit more about the L.A. Rams on Tuesday and the position battles that McVay is holding in training camp.

Here’s how each cut impacts the roster for now:

Rams waive P Cameron Dicker

Winner: Riley Dixon

The first punter other than Johnny Hekker to win the job since 2012 is going to be Riley Dixon, as expected. Dixon entered the competition with a six-year head start on Dicker, but this should hardly spell the end of Dicker’s career. As a punter, he could keep getting auditions for years, including with the Rams. Not long ago, Sam Sloman “won” the starting kicker competition for L.A..

That didn’t last very long.

Rams waive TE Jamal Pettigrew

Winner: Roger Carter, Jr.

The Rams signed two UDFA tight ends after the draft this year, Pettigrew and Carter. The 6’7 Pettigrew was known to be a long-term project and he may still get onto the practice squad eventually. Carter is more pro ready, versatile, and has special teams acumen. This move makes it likely that Carter could reach the practice squad.

Rams waive OT Adrian Ealy

Winner: Max Pircher

We don’t hear much from the team’s 2021 International Pathway Program choice, Max Pircher, nor should we really expect to. We know it’s going to take years before he’s ready, if ever. But waiving Ealy gives one more step for Pircher to get more reps and time with the coaching staff in the near future. He should be a practice squad exception in 2022.

Rams waive CB Caesar Dancy-Williams

Winner: Russ Yeast, Tyler Hall, Grant Haley, Duron Lowe

Dancy-Williams, a UDFA rookie, did not appear in the first preseason game. A crowded cornerbacks room got a little less crowded and maybe one of these four can reach the final roster. Dancy-Williams, 6’, 190 lbs, ran a 4.67 in the 40-yard dash at his pro day, which is slower than most cornerbacks.

Rams waive QB Luis Perez

Winner: Bryce Perkins

Now it’s official: Perkins will again play the entire preseason at quarterback. Whether he makes the final roster again is up in the air.