As the Los Angeles Rams locked in their record-breaking deal to keep Aaron Donald in the “Rams House,” that $95 million decision unfortunately also comes with this price: Losing other key members of their Super Bowl 56 run.
And the Rams made a decision that left most of their fans perplexed online.
The franchise announced on Twitter on Wednesday, June 8 that the team has decided on a waive/no recall for inside linebacker Travin Howard.
Nearly two months ago, Howard was locked in by the Rams on a restricted free agent tender — which he signed on April 16.
For Ram fans who likely remember that name, he became a revered playoff hero in delivering this game-clinching play to seal the NFC title against the San Francisco 49ers:
Howard also proved he can play the deep ball during the postseason:
But the decision has left a lot of confused Ram fans.
Fans React to News
A high number of Ram fans took to Twitter to react to the inside linebacker being waived.
“Damn! For what?” was what a fan identified as @LA_Champ_54 on Twitter posted.
Another fan called @SaiftyFirst was left confused by the move in this tweet.
“Bro he made the pick that got us into the Super Bowl wtf,” was what another Rams fan posted underneath the Rams’ tweet announcement.
Another Rams fan shared a similar tweet, saying “damn, really? Clutch pick to send us to the Super Bowl. Hope he finds somewhere else to play.”
Most other fans either quote tweeted the Rams’ transaction tweet with hand covering the face emojis or question marks.
There was one fan, however, who opted not to feel disgruntled online for Howard’s waive.
“At this point who are we to judge what this front office has done for this team. We have Bobby Wagner, Jalen Ramsey, Aaron Donald re-signed, Matthew Stafford, Allen Robinson, Cooper Kupp, and potential for more signings like OBJ (Odell Beckham Jr.). I’m not going to complain,” was what fan Jake Needham shared.
But again, there’s a state of confusion from Ram fans on a transaction that involves one of the NFC Championship game heroes and a defender who helped fill depth for a relatively thin inside linebacker group.
“Little bit of a surprise cut,” was one online statement made by the Downtown Rams Twitter account.
Insider Dives Into Details Behind Move
Rams insider for The Athletic Jourdan Rodrigue did her part to offer up an explanation behind Howard’s waive.
Her first reaction: The Rams are “squeezing” where they can due to other deals.
“Howard is not injured and there isn’t any layer of off-field detail happening, but my current *sense* is they’re squeezing where they can because of the deals that are locking in this week. Howard’s tender wasn’t a large amount but squeezing all the same. Super talented player,” Rodrigue explained.
She also adds this detail that could ease some tensions from the Ram fans perplexed by the move.
“I’d add that it could be the window for him returning on a lower number than the tender may very well be open,” Rodrigue said. “But we’ll see.”
The Twitter account for the Rams Brothers podcast also sees a scenario where Howard returns for less than what he’s made.
“This makes total sense. Travin Howard’s cap hit this year is $2.54M with the tender (same as Gay’s). Wagner’s cap hit, in comparison, is $2.5M. If they’re trying to save, they’ll absolutely look to bring him back — just on a cheaper deal,” was their response.
The 26-year-old Howard produced 21 tackles, 15 solo stops and three pass deflections in 12 games.