With cutdown day comes a huge pool of players who either become free agents or hit the waiver wire. Players who have accrued at least four seasons are not subject to waivers, but those with less than four credited seasons must pass through the waiver wire.
The Rams and the 31 other teams will sift through the waiver wire and target players they like, deciding whether to put a waiver claim in for them. The Rams are last in the order, so claiming some of the top players is unlikely. But they can also sign vested veterans who are now free agents.
Looking at those who were waived and cut on Tuesday, the Rams should consider claiming or signing these 15 players.
S Jaquiski Tartt
At the very least, the Rams should give Tartt another chance after he helped them land in the Super Bowl by dropping an easy interception in the NFC title game. All kidding aside, he’s actually been a decent safety in the NFL, starting 64 games since 2015. He can be somewhat limited in coverage and his hands aren’t great, but as a bigger, more physical safety, he can contribute in the box and near the line of scrimmage.
P Sam Martin
Martin ranked fifth in the NFL in net punting average (44.1 yards) last season, and now he’s available for a team to sign. 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 backfield, he was unable to 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 running back as an insurance policy if one of the two starters gets hurt – which is more than likely to happen.
OLB Devon Kennard
Kennard has been a productive player in the NFL before, even though 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 pass rusher, he’s an experienced defender who’s primarily played in 3-4 schemes.
NT Danny Shelton
Teams don’t sign Shelton for him to be a pass rusher. He’s a nose tackle who helps against the run, similar to Greg Gaines – although Gaines is unquestionably a better player at this point. Shelton would give the Rams a solid backup to Gaines in the event of an injury, and at the very least he can be an early-down defender in obvious situations.
TE OJ Howard
Howards isn’t the type of tight end the Rams need, being a more athletic receiving type as opposed to a good blocker and inline tight end. However, the Rams could use some help at tight end and Howard has a much better track record than Los Angeles’ current backup at the position, Brycen Hopkins.
OLB Quincy Roche
Roche slipped all the way to the sixth round in the draft last year, somewhat of a surprise for the former Temple and Miami defender. He still managed to play 42% of the snaps for the Giants last year after being cut by the Steelers, and although he only had 2.5 sacks, he showed some promise. He’s 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 just drafted in the fourth round last year, but he spent his entire rookie season on injured reserve, so he never appeared in a game. He’s a big, athletic edge rusher, standing 6-foot-5, which fits the mold of the defenders the Rams look for at outside linebacker.
In college, he had 16 tackles for a loss in his last 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 only 11 games. He’s slightly undersized for a team seeking a 4-3 defensive end, but he can fit in at outside linebacker with the Rams. A lack of athleticism is a real concern with him, though, after he ran just 4.93 in the 40-yard dash.
G Jason Poe
Poe was an undrafted rookie who appeared poised to make the 49ers’ 53-man roster, but he was cut on Tuesday. He was one of the best undrafted free agents this year and could eventually develop into a starter down the line. After losing Logan Bruss to a torn ACL and MCL, the Rams should consider putting in a claim for Poe.
TE Austin Allen
Allen is a massive tight end, standing 6-foot-8. However, he can still move at that 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 might be able to make room for Allen.
DB Marquise Blair
Blair has played only eight games in the last two years after playing 14 as a rookie in 2019, including three starts. He’s a versatile defender who can play safety or in the slot, and the Rams love defensive backs who can line up in multiple positions. His release is somewhat of a surprise, especially for a Seahawks defense that lacks talent.
RB Marlon Mack
Mack was beaten out by rookie Dameon Pierce in Houston, but that doesn’t mean he can no longer play. Mack is a former 1,000-yard rusher who hasn’t been able to stay healthy in recent years, playing just seven games in the last two seasons. He’d 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 disaster as a rookie and could do nothing to earn a starting job – or even a backup role – this summer. It’s probably too early to give up on him after just one season, which is why 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 bloated contract.
Story originally appeared on Rams Wire