The release of Richardson probably comes as the biggest surprise, considering that he was the team’s starting running back to open the season last year and had shown some decent potential as a rookie, rushing for 475 yards on 98 carries (4.5 yards per) as a change of pace to then-starter Steven Jackson. His playing time tapered off as 2013 went on, however, and due to injuries and all-around poor performance he did not see any action after Week 8 of the season, which ironically was his best performance as he picked up eight carries for 39 yards in a close loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
Cudjo, who was in the midst of a two-year deal, was expected to have to compete for a job due to the Rams’ wealth of talent on the defensive line, but it’s a bit of a surprise that they chose to let him go so soon. Coming off a solid 2012, he didn’t have the greatest 2013 season, as he was held back by an injury through training camp and eventually fell behind second-year player Matt Conrath on the depth chart. The Rams signed free agent Alex Carrington to fill a reserve defensive tackle position during the offseason, which made it even more likely that Cudjo would be released. With him out of the picture, it makes it more likely that veteran Kendall Langford will stick around as a backup and that Conrath will have a decent chance to make the team.
Pocic and McCray were both going to be at the bottom of the offensive line depth chart with very little chance to make the team. It’s actually somewhat surprising that Pocic stuck around this long, as he had stuck with the team last year following an injury he suffered while in training camp as an undrafted free agent.
McCray, meanwhile, had just signed as a free agent on Monday, so it’s possible that something went wrong with his physical. He had some nice skills and versatility, but with all the other linemen the Rams have in camp it was unlikely that he would have had any shot at cracking the roster.
These cuts will help the Rams clear up some more cap space as they work to sign their rookie draft class. There will undoubtedly be more moves required, however, before they’re able to fit all of those players into the budget.