With cutdown day comes a huge pool of players who either become free agents or hit the waiver wire. Players who have accumulated at least four seasons are not subject to waivers, but those with fewer than four seasons of credit must go through the waiver wire.
The Rams and the other 31 teams will go through the waiver wire and target players they like, deciding whether to claim them off waivers. The Rams are last in line, so we’re unlikely to claim any of the top players. But they can also sign veterans who are now free agents.
Looking at those waived and cut on Tuesday, the Rams should consider claiming or signing those 15 players.
S Jaquiski Tartt
At the very least, the Rams should give Tartt another chance after he helped land them in the Super Bowl by throwing an easy interception in the NFC title game. All kidding aside, he’s actually a decent safety in the NFL, starting 64 games since 2015. He can be a bit limited in coverage and his hands aren’t great, but as a bigger, more physical safety, he can contribute in the box and close on the conflict line.
P Sam Martin
Martin ranked fifth in the NFL in punt average (44.1 yards) last season and is now available for a team signing. Logic would say he’ll end up with the Bills, but the Rams should consider bringing in Martin as a potential upgrade over Riley Dixon.
RB Sony Michel
Michel left the Rams in free agency this year, signing with the Dolphins. But given Miami’s crowded backcourt, he couldn’t carve out a role or even make the team. The Rams have two capable starters in Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson Jr., but Michel would make a decent third or fourth string as an insurance policy if one of the two starters gets injured – which is more than likely to happen.
OLB Devon Kennard
Kennard has been a productive player in the NFL in the past, although he wasn’t last season in 15 games with the Cardinals. He had zero sacks in 2021, down from three in 2020 and seven in 2018 and 2019.
At 31 years old, he can still play, and while he may never be a prolific passer, he is an experienced defender who plays primarily in 3-4 formations.
N.T. Danny Shelton
Teams aren’t signing Shelton to be a pass rusher. He’s a run-helping nose tackle, like Greg Gaines – though Gaines is arguably a better player at this point. Shelton would give the Rams a solid backup to Gaines in the event of an injury, and at least he can be an early defender in obvious run situations.
TE OJ Howard
Howards is not the type of tight end the Rams need as he is a more athletic type of receiver as opposed to a good blocker and built tight end. However, the Rams could use some help at tight end, and Howard has a much better record than Los Angeles’ current backup at the position, Brycen Hopkins.
OLB Quincy Roche
Roche slipped to the sixth round in last year’s draft, somewhat of a surprise for the former Temple and Miami linebacker. He still managed to play 42% of the snaps for the Giants last year after being cut by the Steelers, and even though he only had 2.5 sacks, he showed some promise. Worth giving a shot in 2022.
OT Daryl Williams
Williams started 17 games for the Bills last season after starting all 16 the year before. If signed by the Rams, he would be a good veteran to have on the roster given his experience at both tackle and guard. While not a great starter, Williams still has value as a backup on an offensive line that values versatility.
OLB Janarius Robinson
Robinson was only drafted in the fourth round last year, but spent his entire rookie season on injured reserve, never appearing in a game. He’s a big, athletic rusher, standing 6-foot-5, who fits the mold of defenders the Rams are looking for at outside linebacker.
In college, he had 16 tackles for a loss in his final two seasons at Florida State, but only six sacks.
OLB Bradley Anae
Anae entered the NFL as a fifth-round pick in 2020, spending two years with the Cowboys and appearing in just 11 games. He’s slightly undersized for a team pursuing a 4-3 defensive end, but he can fit in as an outside linebacker with the Rams. His lack of athleticism really concerns him, though, as he ran just 4.93 in the 40.
G Jason Poe
Poe was an undrafted rookie who appeared poised to make the 49ers’ 53-man roster, but was cut Tuesday. He was one of the best undrafted free agents this year and could eventually develop into a starter on the line. After losing Logan Bruss to a torn ACL and MCL, the Rams should consider making a claim on Poe.
TE Austin Allen
Allen is a huge tight end, standing 6 feet tall. However, it can still move at this size. An undrafted rookie out of Nebraska, Allen caught 38 passes for 602 yards last season after catching 18 passes for 236 yards the year before. Tight end is one of the Rams’ thinnest position groups, so they may be able to make room for Allen.
DB Marquise Blair
Blair has played in just eight games over the last two years after playing 14 as a rookie in 2019, including three starts. He’s a versatile linebacker who can play safety or in the slot, and the Rams love defensive backs who can line up at multiple positions. His release comes as somewhat of a surprise, especially for a Seahawks defense that lacks talent.
RB Marlon Mack
Mack was beat out by rookie Dameon Pierce in Houston, but that doesn’t mean he can’t play anymore. Mack is a former 1,000-yard rusher who hasn’t been able to stay healthy in recent years, playing in just seven games over the past two seasons. He would make a solid RB3 behind the Rams’ starters.
OT Alex Leatherwood
Leatherwood was a first-round pick out of Alabama in 2021, going 17th overall to the Raiders. However, he was a rookie disaster and couldn’t do anything to earn a starting job — or even a backup role — this summer. It’s probably too soon to give up on him after just one season, so the Rams should consider giving him a chance. They might just have to wait for him to clear waivers so they don’t take on his inflated contract.
This story originally appeared on Rams Wire