The franchise announced two waives on the afternoon of Tuesday, November 8 by parting ways with tight end Kendall Blanton and safety Terrell Burgess, as both were given a waive/no recall label.
Blanton, who was waived in August then ultimately brought back before the regular season, began to see a decrease in playing time. After earning 261 offensive snaps according to Pro Football Focus in 2021, the towering 6-foot-6, 265-pound tight end was limited to 21 plays this season. Burgess, meanwhile, only saw action in three games this season with his last contest being the Week 5 loss to the Dallas Cowboys — where he was on the field for a season-high 55 plays. He had begun to lose ground to Nick Scott and Taylor Rapp on the backend.
Between Blanton and Burgess, though, one of the moves has fans speculating who the Rams could be making room for now that this defender is available.
Ex-1st Round Talent Released, Fans Chime in About Rams Possibility
The former starting safety was once given a four-year, $11,495,194 contract by the Silver and Black after being drafted No. 27 overall out of Mississippi State. However, he had become a trade possibility before the league’s Nov. 1 deadline passed. Now that he’s been waived, he can immediately go on waivers.
And that’s where some Ram fans began to speculate that the 6-foot, 205-pounder could be on his way to the Rams following the Burgess release.
“Johnathan Abram was just released so maybe they sign him,” one fan chimed.
“Abrams prob,” another fan said when answering a Rams fan’s question of who the team is making room for.
Other fans began asking around online if the Rams are interested in the former MSU Bulldog and now Ex-Raider.
Can Abram be a Solid Fit?
Abram has flashed some moments in the Silver and Black as a blitzer and tackler. He had piled 255 career tackles including a career-best 116 during the Raiders’ playoff run of 2021. He showed to be effective in crashing down toward the line of scrimmage.
The hard-hitting safety, however, gave mixed results in the Raiders defense outside of making tackles.
Abram only produced three interceptions in 34 total starts according to Pro Football Reference. He ended up missing a combined 21 games in his career. Additionally, fans and media members began to believe that Abram was a liability in pass coverage. Per PFF, the 6-foot, 205-pound safety surrendered 11 career touchdowns his side between 2020 to this season…including a combined nine in his second and third year in the league. Quarterbacks have additionally completed between 70 to 79.4% of their throws when targeting Abram.
Perhaps, however, playing for multiple defensive coordinators have slowed Abram’s development. In his first two seasons in the league, he played for Paul Guenther before he got fired during the 2020 season, ultimately giving way to Rod Marinelli. Gus Bradley then handled the reins in 2021 for Abram’s best season on the tackles side — including getting a career-high five stops behind the line of scrimmage. Patrick Graham then replaced Bradley when Josh McDaniels didn’t retain the latter coordinator.
On the Rams’ side, the safety room has been more effective in collecting stops than takeaways. Only Scott has picked off a pass this season. Him and Rapp also have 36 tackles each. Adding Abram could bring needed depth plus maybe career rejuvenation by working with former college safety Raheem Morris.