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Release of Jacob Harris comes down to “production” vs. “potential”

Harris is an elite athlete that could catch the eye of a WR-needy team

Los Angeles Rams Mandatory Minicamp Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Rams have started trimming their roster from 80 players down to just the final 53. Follow along as the news breaks with the Turf Show Times cuts tracker.

Perhaps the most surprising move the team will make ahead of the 1:00pm PT deadline was the release of second-year WR/TE hybrid Jacob Harris. LA drafted Harris in the fourth round just last year, and he’s a highly athletic player that is likely to draw attention on the waiver wire.

Harris’ shortcomings boil down to two p-words: “production” versus “potential”.

The big pass catching target has all the potential in the world, and the Rams effectively game him a red-shirt rookie season to polish that talent - unfortunately, he tore his ACL mid-season.

But even during the 2021 preseason, some of Harris’ best plays were dropped passes which underscores just how sizeable of a void there was between production and potential. It was fun to watch him dive and stretch out wide on end zone targets, but ultimately they all fell incomplete - the “what could be” was much more exciting than the “what it actually was”.

The ascension of undrafted rookie receiver Lance McCutcheon showed that production is paramount, and he accumulated at least 75 receiving yards in all three of the team’s preseason games in 2022. Sure, McCutcheon doesn’t seem to have the incredibly high ceiling that Harris might - but he showed a contested catch ability that is rare among the Rams’ receiver room (save for Allen Robinson).

While the team was left wanting more from Harris, McCutcheon seized the moment - proving his worth was more valuable than a player drafted in the fourth round just one year ago.

Harris may very well end up being the better player over the course of the two receivers’ careers; however, the Rams are hoping to repeat as Super Bowl champions. McCutcheon is the player that makes LA better today.

It’s a simple case of production (Lance McCutcheon) versus potential (Jacob Harris). The Los Angeles Rams simply don’t have the luxury of waiting around for projects to put it all together - they need to win games right now.

Los Angeles Rams v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images