Rams maintain Bryce Perkins and three undrafted rookies
Les Snead had just put the finishing touches on the Rams’ 53-player roster Tuesday when he was asked about the status of his contract negotiations with the team that has employed him as general manager since 2012.
Kevin Demoff, the Rams’ chief operating officer, said in March that Snead and coach Sean McVay, as architects of the team’s successful run, were in line for extensions. McVay received an extension before training camp began.
When asked about the status of his situation, Snead said he would “keep that in-house.”
“Looking forward to 2022,” he said. “It’s been an awesome journey with the Rams starting in 2012, and definitely expect that to continue not just in the near term but in the long term.”
Quarterback Bryce Perkins and three rookie undrafted free agents — wide receiver Lance McCutcheon, inside linebacker Jake Hummel and outside linebacker Keir Thomas — were among the players who survived cuts and made the initial 53-man roster.
McVay and Snead trimmed the roster from 80 players to meet the NFL’s deadline as the defending Super Bowl champion Rams prepare for their season opener against the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 8 at SoFi Stadium.
Wide receiver Jacob Harris and outside linebacker Chris Garrett, 2021 fourth- and seventh-round picks, respectively, were among the players waived. Rookie offensive lineman A.J. Arcuri, a seventh-round pick, also was waived.
Many of the players released will be signed to the 16-player practice squad Wednesday if they clear waivers.
Perkins made the roster for the second year in a row with his preseason performance. He completed 35 of 49 passes for 399 yards and two touchdowns without an interception. He also rushed for two touchdowns.
The Rams have somewhat unusual configurations with three quarterbacks, two tight ends and six cornerbacks. Snead said several factors are in play.
“We go into the 53 and not necessarily have this cookie-cutter number at positions,” he said during a videoconference with reporters. “It’s really: Who do we think are the best players? And then who do we think, like in Lance’s case … that we need to keep, to protect him from maybe getting claimed? Who do we think we might be able to slide through?”
McCutcheon, who played at Montana State, caught 15 passes for 259 yards and two touchdowns in three preseason games. Harris had five receptions for 28 yards in two games.
“Probably at the end of the day, Lance McCutcheon had a big part in maybe knocking Jacob off the roster in terms of just having a better preseason at wide receiver,” Snead said. “We’ll definitely try and get Jacob back.”
Garrett was sidelined for much of training camp and the preseason because of injury. Thomas, who played at Florida State, consistently pressured quarterbacks.
“Keir Thomas was someone that we felt played overall just more complete football,” Snead said.
There also could be roster shuffling because of the injury statuses of several players.
Rookie offensive lineman Logan Bruss was put on injured reserve after suffering a season-ending knee injury in the second preseason game.
Inside linebacker Travin Howard was put on the reserve/non-football injury reserve list, rookie safety Quentin Lake was put on the reserve/physically unable to perform list, and rookie outside linebacker Daniel Hardy, who had ankle surgery, was put on injured reserve.
Defensive lineman Bobby Brown III is on the reserve/suspended list because he was suspended for the first six games for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing substance policy.
The initial 53-man roster:
OFFENSE — Quarterbacks: Matthew Stafford, John Wolford, Bryce Perkins; running backs: Cam Akers, Darrell Henderson Jr., Kyren Williams, Jake Funk; wide receivers: Cooper Kupp, Allen Robinson II, Van Jefferson, Tutu Atwell, Ben Skowronek, Brandon Powell, Lance McCutcheon; tight ends: Tyler Higbee, Brycen Hopkins; offensive line: Joe Noteboom, David Edwards, Brian Allen, Coleman Shelton, Rob Havenstein, Alaric Jackson, Bobby Evans, Tremayne Anchrum Jr.
DEFENSE — Defensive line: Aaron Donald, A’Shawn Robinson, Greg Gaines, Marquise Copeland, Michael Hoecht, Jonah Williams; outside linebackers: Leonard Floyd, Justin Hollins, Terrell Lewis, Daniel Hardy, Keir Thomas; inside linebackers: Bobby Wagner, Ernest Jones, Christian Rozeboom, Jake Hummel; cornerbacks: Jalen Ramsey, David Long Jr., Troy Hill, Robert Rochell, Cobie Durant, Derion Kendrick; safeties: Taylor Rapp, Nick Scott, Jordan Fuller, Terrell Burgess, Russ Yeast.
SPECIALISTS — Kicker Matt Gay, punter Riley Dixon, long snapper Matthew Orzech.
The Rams waived 23 players — Running back: Trey Ragas; wide receivers: Jacob Harris, Landen Akers, Austin Trammell; tight ends: Roger Carter, Jared Pinkney; guards: Jeremiah Kolone, Jack Snyder; offensive tackles: A.J. Arcuri, Chandler Brewer, Max Pircher; defensive linemen: Elijah Garcia, Earnest Brown IV, Brayden Thomas, Benton Whitley, T.J. Carter; linebackers: Chris Garrett; Anthony Hines; defensive backs: T.J. Carter, Jake Gervase, Grant Haley, Daniel Isom, Duron Lowe.