Joe Klopfenstein among Four Released by Rams Tuesday Morning; Tye Hill Traded

Ron ClementsCorrespondent ISeptember 1, 2009

ST. LOUIS, MO - DECEMBER 3: Joe Klopfenstein #82 of the St. Louis Rams carries the ball during the game against  the Arizona Cardinals at the Edward Jones Dome on December 3, 2006 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

To all you Joe Klopfenstein fans out there, if there are any left, I hate to say I told you so.

The former second-round pick out of Colorado in 2006 was one of four players released by the St. Louis Rams Tuesday morning.

The other three were Jarrett Byers, an undrafted free agent rookie wide receiver from Northeastern State in Oklahoma, free agent rookie center Daniel Sanders of Colorado and Marcus Brown, a cornerback from McNeese State, a second-year player who spent last year on Cincinnati's practice squad.

Klopfenstein is the latest Ram from the disastrous 2006 draft to leave St. Louis.

That draft also included third-round busts Claude Wroten, Jon Alson and Dominique Byrd. Klopfenstein was one of five tight ends the Rams had, but had fallen behind Daniel Fells and Eric Butler on the depth chart.

Incumbent starter Randy McMichael and free agent acquisition Billy Bajema are considered locks to make the final 53-man roster, which the Rams must finalize by Saturday afternoon.

Klopfenstein's release should not surprise anyone, especially anyone who reads my reports. Just last week, I said Klopfenstein was doubtful to make the team, and that he and Butler were "securely on the bubble."

I did think Klopfenstein might be safe for Tuesday's cuts, but knew he was as good as gone by the weekend. 

This is just the latest example of how general manager Billy Devaney and new head coach Steve Spagnuolo want to clean house and start over. And they didn't see the need in keeping Klopfenstein around a few more days just to let him go Saturday.

The Rams also traded their first-round pick from 2006, cornerback Tye Hill, to Atlanta. Hill had three disappointing, injury-riddled seasons in St. Louis. His trade means Jonathan Wade moves to the starting spot, and Justin King is nearly a lock to make the squad as the nickel back.

The Rams will have one more move to make Tuesday afternoon, as they cut the 80-man roster to 75, as mandated by the NFL.