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Rams' makeover continues with Draft's release

9/10/2009



Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

So much for the Chris Draft Show on 101ESPN St. Louis.

The Rams released Draft, presumed to be a starting linebacker, in a surprise move. The veteran linebacker refused a pay cut earlier in the week, Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Draft was scheduled to earn $1.225 million in salary this season.

The Rams are rebuilding, obviously, and that means getting younger. But releasing a veteran starter three days before the season opener strikes me as the type of move that can backfire in the locker room, at least short term.

The Rams' linebackers minus the 33-year-old Draft feature Will Witherspoon, James Laurinaitis, Chris Chamberlain, David Vobora and Larry Grant. Re-signing Quinton Culberson could be one option.

I thought the Rams were already thin at linebacker after releasing Pisa Tinoisamoa, who subsequently signed with the Bears. If nothing else, this move shows that the Rams viewed Draft far differently than thought.