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Could recent signing signal end of Lance McCutcheon’s time with Rams?

It seems the second-year receiver fell down another rung on the depth chart

NFL: OCT 03 Rams at 49ers Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Rams have not made many additions this offseason, but just this week they signed former Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Tyler Johnson.

Johnson, a former fifth round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, played mostly a reserve role in Tampa Bay though he had a knack for making plays in key moments en route to a Super Bowl victory with Tom Brady. He’s caught 48 passes for 528 yards and two touchdowns over his three year professional career.

The signing of Johnson is a low-cost, high-upside move—and this is especially important with Van Jefferson in a contract year and with Cooper Kupp growing another year older.

The wide receiver depth chart currently shakes out somewhere along these lines:

WR1 - Cooper Kupp

WR2 - Van Jefferson

WR3 - Tutu Atwell / Ben Skowronek**

Reserves (in order of priority): Puka Nacua, Tyler Johnson, Lance McCutcheon, Austin Trammell

Much has been made of the idea that Atwell and Skowronek are competing for the third receiver role; however, they have very different skillsets and don’t truly play the same position. Atwell’s size might prevent him from ever becoming an every-down player, though the team needs to take better advantage of his field-stretching speed in 2023. Skowronek entered the NFL has a WR/TE hybrid, and he’s since shown the ability to play fullback in a limited capacity. Both players seem solidly ahead of Nacua, Johnson, McCutcheon, and Trammell at the moment.

The odd man out of the pecking order certainly seems to be second-year UDFA Lance McCutcheon, who impressed during last year’s preseason but played sparingly even when the WR depth chart was decimated with injuries. The Rams don’t have any sunk cost with McCutcheon—they didn’t spend a draft pick on him and haven’t investment much beyond time and coaching. If the final cut comes down to either Nacua or McCutcheon, it would be difficult to see the former UDFA edge out the promising fifth-round rookie.

Training camp and the preseason will play an important role in determining the wide receiver hierarchy for Los Angeles, though it seems McCutcheon is headed for a do-or-die type situation in his second year as a Ram.

Rams, Texans, NFL Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images