St. Louis Rams: 5 Players Who Will Be Toughest to Cut
For the most part, the first wave of cuts will largely consist of unknown players who never had a shot at making the team, so there won't be any real heartbreak until the final cuts on Friday—which will bring the total to 53 players.
When going from 90 players to only 53, there's bound to be some questionable and unpopular decisions, but it's part of the game.
Here are five Rams players who will likely be cut, which will surely result in outrage from the fans.
WR Danario Alexander
Danario Alexander is a special case not only due to his obvious ability to make game-changing plays, but he's also a former Mizzou standout, which makes him a favorite among the locals.
But he simply cannot stay healthy. His bad knee has required multiple operations and will never fully recover, plus he's had to deal with other nagging injuries such as a hamstring issue.
It's a tragic situation since he's talented enough to be an elite NFL receiver, but the Rams are not in a position to throw away a roster spot on someone who won't see the field.
QB Austin Davis
We don't know how Jeff Fisher is going to approach the backup quarterback situation.
He may keep two backups or only one. If he does only keep one, does he stick with the veteran in Kellen Clemens, or the undrafted rookie with promising upside in Austin Davis?
We don't know what will happen, but until the decision is made, it's at least in the realm of possibility that Davis will be cut. And if he is cut, the coaches will almost certainly try to sneak him onto the practice squad, which means other teams can claim him.
Davis has been successful in the preseason and has a lot of fans very excited about his play, but we've been through this before. The preseason made Thad Lewis and Kieth Null into Pro Bowlers, but those stories didn't have happy endings.
But even so, the current excitement over Davis will almost certainly turn into outrage if he doesn't make the final cut.
S Matt Daniels
The Rams brought in two undrafted rookie safeties in the offseason, but it looks like only one will make the final cut.
At the beginning of camp, most people assumed Matt Daniels would step up and impress the coaches, while Rodney McLeod was hardly being discussed at all. But now, McLeod is the player who has impressed while Daniels turned out to be the one who's irrelevant.
The hard-hitting Daniels was expected to be a great low-key pickup, and some fans may still have confidence in him, which is why his departure could result in some disappointment.
WR Greg Salas
Jeff Fisher seldom keeps a high number of wide receivers on his rosters, so expecting more than six receivers on the 2012 roster is a pipe dream.
Danny Amendola, Steve Smith, Brian Quick and Chris Givens are all guaranteed roster spots. And since Brandon Gibson was taking first-team reps during the last game even after missing time with injury, it's probably safe to assume he's a lock as well.
For the sixth spot, it looks like Austin Pettis has outplayed Greg Salas so far this preseason. There's a chance both players will be retained, but if they choose just one, then it's going to be Pettis.
This could be a hard one to swallow since Salas really developed nice chemistry with Sam Bradford last season and was expected to excel in 2012.
TE DeAngelo Peterson
Undrafted rookie DeAngelo Peterson was never a great blocker, but the coaches were hoping he could add some value to the offense as a receiver.
At this point, Peterson hasn't done a lot to separate himself from the competition. Lance Kendricks and Matthew Mulligan are locks, while Michael Hoomanawanui has a solid shot at becoming the No. 3 tight end.
If the Rams do decide to keep a fourth tight end, then they'll likely keep another blocking specialist since Kendricks and Hoomanawanui are pass catchers.
If that's the case, Peterson will be gone and Mike McNeill or Cory Harkey will be in.