St. Louis Rams Release RB Trey Watts


With his four-game drug suspension completed and his additional one-week roster exemption expired, the St. Louis Rams had to make a decision on second-year running back Trey Watts on Monday. The choice they made was not a happy one for Watts, as the former undrafted free agent from Tulsa was released.

Watts, a 5-foot-9, 208-pounder, had seven rushing attempts for 30 yards and three catches for 18 yards as a rookie last season. He seriously jeopardized his roster chances this summer by receiving a four-game suspension due to a violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy, which allows players to test positive up to three times during a known duration of time before they receive such a suspension. Watts redeemed himself somewhat this preseason, however, rushing 24 times for 98 yards and a touchdown.

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In the end, a strong preseason wasn’t enough to save Watts, who would have been behind Todd Gurley, Tre Mason, and Benny Cunningham on the Rams’ running backs depth chart and is a less valuable special-teamer than Chase Reynolds. Especially with injured players on the defensive line and at linebacker, the Rams have very little roster flexibility to be able to add a luxury player, such as a fifth running back.

Not to seal someone’s fate before it’s officially happened, but it would be very surprising if Watts didn’t replace practice squad running back Malcolm Brown at some point over the next two days. Brown had a very good preseason for the Rams, but Watts was arguably the team’s best offensive player over that time, plus he’s shown more special teams potential than Brown, serving as one of the Rams’ core special-teamers during 2014. Coach Jeff Fisher openly expressed a desire to re-sign Watts to the practice squad on Monday (though considering Fisher makes similar statements about virtually every player the Rams release, maybe we should wait until we see it with our own eyes).

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