Rams' release of Clemens raised plenty of eyebrows

Posted Sept. 07, 2012 @ 10:50 a.m.
Posted By Dan Arkush

(Updated 1:45 p.m. ET, Friday, Sept. 7)

The Rams certainly have made their share of attention-grabbing personnel moves, with holdovers such as TE Michael Hoomanawanui, WR Greg Salas and CB Jerome Murphy and free-agent additions such as Quinn Ojinnaka, who began the preseason as the starting left guard, being removed from the roster.

But the one move that probably surprised team sources the most was the decision to release backup QB Kellen Clemens, who previously played under Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer with the Jets, in favor of undrafted rookie Austin Davis.

“Davis looked good in the preseason, but he was going up against third- and fourth-team players,” one team insider said. “With (starting QB Sam) Bradford also saying earlier this offseason that his ankle was not quite 100 percent, you have to wonder a little about letting Clemens go.”

Davis’ major strengths appear to be his ability to throw on the run and, more importantly, his moxie.

“He went in each and every week, and he was prepared,” said Schottenheimer when asked what tilted the backup QB scales in Davis’ direction. “Sometimes, when you’re playing in those fourth-quarter games, you’re playing with some guys that are still trying to figure things out. He moved around, he made plays, threw the ball well, and we just kind of liked his demeanor and how he ran things.

“For a young player stepping into a huddle, being able to consistently move the team, that’s a good sign.”

It would hardly be a shock, though, if the Rams opted to re-sign Clemens after Week One, in which case he would be getting a week-to-week contract, with none of the salary guaranteed.