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Rams release Cudjo, Richardson

5/15/2014

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- The St. Louis Rams did a little roster housekeeping Thursday afternoon, parting ways with four players, including a pair who have contributed at various points in the past.

Running back Daryl Richardson, defensive tackle Jermelle Cudjo and offensive linemen Graham Pocic and Emmanuel McCray all appeared on the NFL's transaction wire Thursday. Richardson, Pocic and McCray were designated under normal waivers while Cudjo qualifies as "termination of a vested veteran."

Of the quartet, it's Richardson that is probably the most well-known. He appeared to have the makings of a late-round gem as a rookie in 2012 when he rushed for 475 yards and averaged 4.8 yards per carry in a backup role to Steven Jackson.

Richardson won the starting job as Jackson's replacement in training camp but suffered a toe injury against Arizona in the opener and never was able to get back on track. He finished with 215 yards and an average of 3.1 yards per attempt while playing in just eight games.

In an ideal world, Richardson could have worked as a change-of-pace back with limited carries but his inability to make defenders miss in the open field or break tackles made him less than ideal as an every down back. He was scheduled to make $581,474 and his release will save the Rams $558,526 in cap space (which is really negligible in grand scheme of things).

Cudjo was the lone defensive tackle on the roster who was a holdover from the previous regime. He originally made the team as an undrafted free agent out of Central Oklahoma in 2010 and lasted four seasons as a backup inside. He posted 81 tackles with a sack and a half in 38 games.

The Rams thought enough of Cudjo's performance in 2012 to give him a two-year contract extension which included a $350,000 signing bonus. His cap number for 2014 was scheduled to be $1.075 million and his release saves the Rams $900,000.

For Richardson and Cudjo, the writing was on the wall after the draft. St. Louis spent a third-round pick on running back Tre Mason and used the 13th overall pick on defensive tackle Aaron Donald, making it unlikely either player would make the roster. Instead of waiting until camp, the Rams chose to make the moves now.