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Rams Should be Interested in Recently Released LB Zach Cunningham

The Rams could use help at inside linebacker and placing a claim on recently released Zach Cunningham could give the defense a boost.

The Los Angeles Rams' inside linebacker group has experienced its fair share of ups and downs this season. There are games where the starters in place look like they're up for the billing, meanwhile, there are other contests that suggest they need a facelift at the position.

The Rams cut bait with linebacker Kenny Young prior to the NFL trading deadline, sending arguably the team's most fierce tackler to the Denver Broncos in an effort to create salary cap space.

Therefore, that left rookie Ernest Jones and third-year player Troy Reeder to serve as the two starting inside linebackers, while Christian Roozeboom holds the role of a backup. None of the three players have been consistent starters throughout the course of their young NFL careers and at times it's shown.

While at this point in the season, trades can no longer be finalized as the deadline has come and gone. However, one way to still add players is through waivers.

On Wednesday, the Houston Texans waived linebacker Zach Cunningham, as first reported by the Houston Chronicle's John McClain. The 26-year-old linebacker has been among the better tacklers in the NFL. Just last season he led the league with 164 total tackles.

As a result, the Texans inked him to a four-year, $58 million extension in 2020. However, based on the structure of the deal he signed with Houston, his cap hit for the remainder of the season is $275,000 for whichever team claims him as Cunningham is subject to waivers following his release. Cunningham's guarantees also end upon entering next season, meaning it's a favorable contract for teams as the likelihood of him being claimed is relatively high.

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Currently, the Rams have $1.9 million in available cap space, per Over The Cap.

The Rams hold an 8-4 record, which ultimately doesn't bode well for their chances of claiming Cunningham as they're low on the order of claiming teams.

Given the marginal cost of what it would take to pencil in Cunningham for the last five regular-season games and presumably the playoffs, this is a move the Rams should highly consider. 

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Nick Cothrel is the publisher of Ram Digest. Follow Nick and Ram Digest on Twitter @NickCothrel & @RamDigestSI for more Rams coverage.