The St. Louis Rams continued their quest to improve the team by making some cuts that have some fans wondering WTH and some even upset. Out are WR Greg Salas, CB Jerome Murphy, TE Mike Hoomanawanui, and OL Quinn Ojinnaka. In are RB Terrance Ganaway, DT Kellen Heard, T Ty Nsekhe, and OG Shelley Smith.
Nick Wagoner of STLouisRams.com did make it a point to write “It needs to be mentioned again and this can’t be emphasized enough but this is by no means a hard and fast final roster. Fisher and GM Les Snead and their crew will be looking at everyone who hits the waiver wire in search of potential upgrades. We’ll have a much better idea of the 53 the Rams want to go into the regular season with come next Wednesday.”
And true to his words the Rams did just that.
Familiar names that are gone:
WR Greg Salas – traded to the New England Patriots for an undisclosed (non-conditional) late round pick in 2015. Current Patriots OC Josh McDaniels helped draft Salas in St. Louis in 2011. Salas was a fourth round pick.
CB Jerome Murphy – waived. A Spags-Devaney era draft selection. (Third round pick in the 2010). This move was surprising in the fact that Murphy was playing fairly well throughout camp and in the preseason. He’s a hard hitting corner and appeared to have made a favorable impression on the coaches. But what do I know… he’s gone now.
TE Mike Hoomanawanui – waived. A third Spags-Devaney selection to leave the Rams. (Fifth round pick in 2010) Poor Big Mike had such a history with injuries. It looks like the new regime didn’t want to take the gamble. It’s unfortunate, just like WR Danario Alexander, that they couldn’t stay healthy enough to fully see their potential.
OG Quinn Ojinnaka – waived. A 7-year veteran journeyman, Ojinnaka had been listed as the starter at LG until Sunday’s surprising news. A clear fan favorite, Ojinnaka, had many tweets offering him support and best wishes.
New names that have come on board:
RB Terrance Ganaway – The Jets sixth round draft pick from this year was a surprise cut from the Jets roster. Here’s some information on him from the Rams:
Ganaway (6-1, 240) was drafted by the New York Jets in the sixth round of the 2012 draft and spent this offseason with the Jets. As a senior at Baylor, Ganaway rushed for 1,547 yards and scored 21 touchdowns in 2011.
DT Kellen Heard – Heard comes from the Buffalo Bills and helps shore up a very banged up Rams defensive line.
Heard (6-6, 339) entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Oakland Raiders in 2010, where he played for current Rams defensive line coach Mike Waufle. He signed with the Buffalo Bills late in his rookie season and appeared in 15 games with two starts in 2011. Heard began his collegiate career at Texas A&M before transferring to Memphis.
T Ty Nsekhe – (I don’t even know how to pronounce his name correctly.) The Vikings placed a waiver claim on Nsekhe as well.
Nsekhe (6-8, 325) spent the 2012 offseason with the Indianapolis Colts. Prior to joining the Colts, he played three seasons with the San Antonio Talons of the Arena Football League. Nsekhe is a native of Arlington, Tex. and played his college ball at Texas State.
OG Shelley Smith – Three other teams put in waiver claims for Smith: Redskins, Seahawks, and Titans. Interesting that all four are working with young quarterbacks (Sam Bradford, Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson and Jake Locker)
Smith (6-4, 297) entered the NFL as a sixth-round draft choice of the Houston Texans in 2010. As a rookie, he spent time on Houston’s practice squad before he was promoted to the active roster in December. Smith spent the 2011 season on “Reserved-Injured.” Smith played collegiately at Colorado State.
Of the 26 draft picks from the Spagnuolo-Devaney era only 9 of them remain as of September 2, 2012: LB James Laurinaitis, CB Bradley Fletcher, DT Darell Scott, QB Sam Bradford, OL Rodger Saffold, LB Josh Hull, DE Robert Quinn, TE Lance Kendricks, and WR Austin Pettis. The new look Rams have parted ways with T Jason Smith (traded to NYJ), CB Jerome Murphy, TE Mike Hoomanawanui, and WR Greg Salas (traded to NE) just in the last two weeks.
I don’t know how much better the new players will be coming on board just days before the regular season starts. But one things for sure, good or bad, Jeff Fisher and Les Snead want to take the Rams to the next level using their guys.