- In a move that was widely expected in the days leading up to free agency, the Rams officially released veteran offensive tackle Wayne Hunter late Wednesday afternoon, almost six days before the start of the free agent period on March 12.
- The move clears $4 million in salary cap space for the Rams as they get closer to free agency. Combining that with the void of RB Steven Jackson’s contract which will save $7 million, the Rams now have an additional $11 million under the cap.
- Hunter came to the Rams in an Aug. 28 trade with the New York Jets in which the Rams shipped Jason Smith to the Big Apple in exchange for Hunter. Hunter played in 14 games for the Rams including four starts at left tackle in place of an injured Rodger Saffold. For the most part, Hunter fared pretty well in his opportunities for the Rams. He returned to his swing tackle role upon Saffold’s return.
- While Hunter provided solid depth for the Rams, he carried a price tag more in line with a starter heading into 2013. He was due a base salary of just under $4 million for next season and with the Rams looking to have some room to be at least a mildly active participant in free agency, the move had been expected.
- For his part, Hunter said after the season that he enjoyed his time in St. Louis and despite some chronic back woes that bothered him during the year, he intends to keep playing in 2013.
- The Jets released Smith on Feb. 19.
- Now, with the money saved by Hunter’s release and the void of Jackson’s contract plus the additional $2.4 million added to this year’s salary cap, the Rams have somewhere in the range of $13 million in cap space. Some of that will be allocated to the draft class and some back to their own free agents.
- For now, it seems that is all in terms of activity on the in house roster moves. There are still other things the Rams could do to free cap space but it’s unlikely those would happen until the money is needed for another addition.
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