Rams Waive Beloved Ex-Steelers Quarterback: Report

Devlin Duck Hodges

Getty Devlin Hodges looking to pass against the Buffalo Bills on December 15, 2019.

On Monday, August 23, the Los Angeles Rams waived quarterback Devlin ‘Duck’ Hodges and two other NFL hopefuls, per veteran NFL reporter Aaron Wilson. The moves came well in advance of Tuesday afternoon’s deadline for reducing rosters to 80 players.

Hodges reacted to the news via Twitter, sending out what can only be described as the quintessential ‘Duck’ tweet.

Most the replies to his message have been from Steelers fans expressing their support, with one follower referencing Hodges’ approach to life (and playing quarterback):

Certainly, the tone of Duck’s latest tweet is a whole lot different than the one he sent when he tweeted his goodbye to Pittsburgh.

The bottom line is that the former Pittsburgh Steelers fourth-stringer turned starter was unable to beat out Bryce Perkins—a former undrafted free agent out of Virginia—for the No. 3 quarterback job in L.A. The odds were against him in the sense that Perkins spent all of last season on the Rams’ practice squad, while Hodges—who played his college ball at Samford University in Alabama—signed a one-year Reserve/Future contract with the Rams in late January, shortly after his Steelers (practice squad) contract expired.

On the other hand, Hodges has more NFL experience than Perkins. In 2019, he started six of the eight games in which he appeared, getting an opportunity to play in the wake of injuries to starter Ben Roethlisberger and backup Mason Rudolph. He went 3-3 in his six starts, and the Steelers won both of the games in which he came off the bench. All told, he completed 100 of 160 pass attempts for 1,063 yards (with five touchdowns and eight interceptions), not bad for an undrafted free agent who was signed for $1,000 after a minicamp tryout.

It’s perhaps worth noting that Hodges didn’t get much chance to show what he could do while he was with the Rams. He was 11 of 19 for 85 yards and an interception in his team’s first preseason game (versus the Los Angeles Chargers). He didn’t get a chance to play against the Las Vegas Raiders in the Rams’ second preseason tilt, as Perkins played the entire contest.

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Packers Work Out 2 Former Steelers

In other news from Wilson on Monday, the Green Bay Packers worked out defense lineman Abdullah Anderson and cornerback Stephen Denmark, two of the five players the Steelers waived last Tuesday.

Anderson, 25, enters his third NFL season out of Bucknell. The 6-foot-3, 297-pound defensive lineman originally went undrafted in 2019, and spent much of the last two seasons bouncing between the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings’ practice squads. In total, he has tallied four combined tackles and 1.0 sack in seven career games.

Denmark, 25, first entered the league as a seventh-round pick of the Bears in 2019. While the 6-foot-2 cornerback has no NFL stats to his name yet, the Valdosta State alum did spend some time with the rival Cleveland Browns on the practice squad in 2020.

Raiders Hold Tryout for Mark Barron

Wilson also revealed that the Raiders have worked out ex-Steelers linebacker Mark Barron. The Steelers signed Barron to a two-year contract in March 2019 but released him after just one year in an effort to realize salary cap savings. The Broncos went on to sign him at the end of last summer, but he never played in a game for Denver, thanks to hamstring and pectoral injuries.

The Raiders also waived punter Corliss Waitman, who was released by the Steelers in early May, shortly after the team selected Pressley Harvin III in the seventh-round of the 2021 NFL draft. Waitman—who played his college football at South Alabama—spent all of the 2020 season on Pittsburgh’s practice squad.

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