On Monday, the Los Angeles Rams announce that they would part ways with former starter and Rams draft pick Maurice Alexander. The move comes just a day after he was healthy but marked inactive for Los Angeles’s home game against Seattle.
With only 53 roster spots to fill, Alexander was cut to make room for wide receiver Michael Thomas, who has completed serving his four-game suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing substance policy. Thomas will be the Rams seventh receiver on the roster, joining a group that has helped the Los Angeles Rams get off to a 3-2 start.
Maurice Alexander was selected in the fourth round with the 110th overall pick by the then-St. Louis Rams as an underrated prospect out of Utah State. He shot up the draft boards after an impressive senior season at Utah State where he had 78 tackles and 3.5 sacks to go along with one interception.
Alexander was a major contributor to the Rams defense the past two seasons, their last in St. Louis and first in Los Angeles. He started 14 games in each of those seasons and had a career-high two interceptions last season as he began to find his stride in his third season.
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However, the writing was on the wall for Alexander as Rams head coach Sean McVay started rookie safety John Johnson on Sunday against the Seahawks. The Boston College product had a key interception that he returned for 69 yards, making Alexander appear dispensable for a Rams defense that looks much-improved from last season.
Making the decision to cut Alexander is a microcosm of Sean McVay’s overhaul of the Rams roster as a whole, as he has begun to rely more on players that the Rams have drafted or signed since McVay became the coach at the end of last season.
Going forward, the Rams will rely on the emerging John Johnson to patrol the secondary while allowing for young safeties such as Blake Countess, Cody Davis, and Marqui Christian to contribute more. These players will not only be relied on when the Rams are on defense, but also in special teams, where the Rams have excelled this season.
The Rams expect star safety Lamarcus Joyner to return to the lineup against the Jacksonville Jaguars this Sunday, bolstering a defense that ranks top 20 in the league going into week six. The loss of a longtime starter is always emotional, but the Los Angeles Rams are in a position to continue trending in the right direction even after deciding to cut Maurice Alexander.