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  • Rams Trade Hill, Cut Five

    Rams Trade Hill, Cut Five
    Tuesday, September 1, 2009

    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    When the Rams selected Jonathan Wade in the third round of the 2007 NFL Draft, one of the first people he talked to was Rams cornerback Tye Hill.

    A little more than two years later, Wade could be asked to step into Hill’s role as the starting cornerback after the Rams traded Hill to the Atlanta Falcons for an undisclosed draft pick on Tuesday afternoon.

    “That’s not an easy (decision),” coach Steve Spagnuolo said. “I sat with Tye this morning, let him know what was going on and it makes it even harder when it’s a quality guy, a person I really respected in everything he did while he was here. We do wish him well. We felt like we did what was in the best interest of our team.”

    In addition to Hill, the Rams also trimmed five players from the roster in order to be down to the league mandated number of 75 by Tuesday afternoon. Tight end Joe Klopfenstein, receivers Brooks Foster and Jarrett Byers, center Daniel Sanders and cornerback Marcus Brown.

    Foster cleared waivers and remains with the team after being placed on the injured reserve list.

    Hill had started the first three preseason games opposite Bartell, but Spagnuolo maintained the competition remained open. In recent weeks, Hill and Wade had been sharing repetitions with the first team.

    When the Rams consummated the trade with Atlanta, Wade was informed that at least for now he would be working with the first unit.

    “(I was) shocked,” Wade said. “Hearing news like that always shocks you. I started thinking it could have been anyone. It’s not an easy thing to deal with whatsoever but the fact that it could well have been me, you have to continue to roll with the punches.”

    Hill and Wade go way back, to their time in college running track. With Wade at Tennessee and Hill at Clemson, the two would frequently find themselves running sprints against each other at national track meets.

    Of course, Hill arrived in the league in 2006, one year before Wade was in the NFL Draft. That year, the Rams traded down from the 11th pick in the draft to 15th and opted to select Hill with that pick.

    But after playing in all 16 games as a rookie with three interceptions, injuries limited him to 12 games and one interception in the past two seasons.

    Ultimately, though, the Rams opted to go in a different direction as the likes of Wade, Justin King, Bradley Fletcher and Quincy Butler now figure more prominently into the mix.

    “I like all of those corners over there to be quite honest with you,” Spagnuolo said. “I have said all along that I thought there was a lot of competition over there and I also followed that with saying I thought Ron Bartell was doing a good job and in a lot of ways solidified one spot. We’ll find out who the other one is. It’s more than just a starting corner, we need a nickel, we may need a dime. All of those guys will compete.”

    At least in the interim, Wade plans on doing everything he can to nail down that spot. His first task on Tuesday was balancing the emotions of saying goodbye to his friend with realizing what a tremendous opportunity is now being put in front of him.

    Since the Rams selected him in 2007, Wade has proved a durable, athletic type who has systematically worked his way up the depth chart.

    In college, Wade spent time at receiver and was still relatively new to the position upon getting to the NFL. As a rookie, Wade played mostly on special teams but did make on start and came up with an interception in the season finale at Arizona.

    Last year, Wade again played in all 16 games and again came up with an interception in the final game. Along the way, Wade began to work in on nickel packages as the third corner and improved as he went along.

    In this year’s camp, Wade himself has said he is a much more mature player and person and in that sense he’s more prepared to take on an expanded role.

    That doesn’t mean Wade views himself as a finished product, though.

    “Just because that (trade) happened didn’t necessarily change anything,” Wade said. “Everything about this game, I can get better. I’m a little kid in elementary school on my way trying to graduate from high school.”

    Indeed, Wade is taking nothing for granted because the Rams do have a talented lot of corners fighting for opportunities of their own.

    The Rams used a third-round pick on Fletcher this year after using a fourth-round choice on King a year ago.

    Butler has been a pleasant surprise in this camp, coming up with an interception against the Bengals in last week’s preseason contest.

    “Everything is tied in,” Spagnuolo said. “We made a trade because we thought it was in the best interest of the team. It’s obviously tied into all of the guys.”

  • #2
    Re: Rams Trade Hill, Cut Five

    Wade's play this preseason pushed Tye out the door. If Tye had stepped it up it wouldn't have happened. I think Wade will do fine.

    Maineram -


    • #3
      Re: Rams Trade Hill, Cut Five

      It certainly makes things sound better when you hear Spags talking about it. It's also refreshing to know that Wade is going to try and step it up and that nothing is to be taken for granted with the Rams anymore. It's great to know the weeds are being plucked out one by one. There are no more soulless players on this team, not on Devaney or Spags' watch and I love it.
      Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams


      • #4
        Re: Rams Trade Hill, Cut Five

        Well this is certainly interesting news.


        • #5
          Re: Rams Trade Hill, Cut Five

          So we'll have one more big round of cuts after the 4th game, just before the regular season, right?


          • #6
            Re: Rams Trade Hill, Cut Five

            since we cut Klop and traded Hill does anyone know if we saved money on their remaining contracts or how this works?


            • #7
              Re: Rams Trade Hill, Cut Five

              Down from 75 to 53 players by 9/5, plus a few for IR or practice squad.


              • #8
                Re: Rams Trade Hill, Cut Five

                Haha. I'm so happy Flop got cut.


                • #9
                  Re: Rams Trade Hill, Cut Five

                  Tye & Klop, Can't help to think that the Rams wasted drafts picks on these guys.
                  May they have better luck elsewhere and learn to "bring something to the table", namely results, something that came in short supply, in regards to Tye Hill and Joe Klopfenstein.
                  In Saint Louis you need to "SHOW ME!"


                  • #10
                    Re: Rams Trade Hill, Cut Five

                    Originally posted by diehard99
                    since we cut Klop and traded Hill does anyone know if we saved money on their remaining contracts or how this works?
                    Their base salaries for 2009 are taken off of our cap. Any prorated signing bonus charge is still applied to our cap. Any prorated signing bonus monies for future years will all become due next year.

                    So, in Tye's case, he had one more year on his deal after this one. His base salary is no longer on our cap for this year, but his prorated signing bonus stays. His prorated signing bonus for next year also stays, but is on next year's cap because it's after June 1st.
                    I believe!:ram:


                    • #11
                      Re: Rams Trade Hill, Cut Five

                      Originally posted by TekeRam
                      Their base salaries for 2009 are taken off of our cap. Any prorated signing bonus charge is still applied to our cap. Any prorated signing bonus monies for future years will all become due next year.

                      So, in Tye's case, he had one more year on his deal after this one. His base salary is no longer on our cap for this year, but his prorated signing bonus stays. His prorated signing bonus for next year also stays, but is on next year's cap because it's after June 1st.
                      Are you sure about this? The league currently doesn't have a salary cap structure for next season and we didn't have June 1st cuts this year. Are you sure some or all of it doesn't stay within the 2009 cap? I don't know the answer, just asking.


                      • #12
                        Re: Rams Trade Hill, Cut Five

                        Obviously, with the possible uncapped year, things are a little iffy, but I'm fairly certain that the signing bonus money would continue to be counted next year. I'm not an NFL executive though, so it's quite possible that their bonus money is forwarded up to this year. Good point Rebel.
                        I believe!:ram:


                        • #13
                          Re: Rams Trade Hill, Cut Five

                          From everything I've read, it is specifically not possible to roll cap cuts into next year to take advantage of the uncapped season. That's why we didn't have June 1st cuts throughout the league this year. The question I've been unable to determine is what happens if the Rams cut or trade Carriker (who is a large cap figure if cut). He could put them over the 2009 limit.

                          There is also a cap minimum teams must reach or face a penalty. In 2010 there is no minimum. With all the salary cuts this year, the recession and the team being for sale, the thought is that the Rams could (I'm not saying will) go with a far below normal salary figure next year to make the team more attractive for buyers.


                          Related Topics


                          • txramsfan
                            Hill Working Hard to Return
                            by txramsfan
                            Hill Working Hard to Return
                            Saturday, April 4, 2009

                            By Nick Wagoner
                            Senior Writer

                            The majority of the Rams’ biggest offseason moves centered on their secondary.

                            In the cases of cornerback Ron Bartell and free safety Oshiomogho Atogwe that meant doing whatever it took to retain the talented young duo. The Rams did just that in signing Bartell to a long term contract and placing the franchise tag on Atogwe.

                            In the case of strong safety, the Rams pursued and signed talented young veteran James Butler to team up with Atogwe on the back end.

                            With three of those four positions solidified, the only remaining spot up for grabs is at the corner opposite Bartell. And though nothing has been settled or determined as to who will man that spot, there’s one option on the roster who began the process of staking his claim during this weekend’s minicamp: Tye Hill.

                            “I do believe I am the key component for us to be really good,” Hill said. “OJ and Bartell have proven themselves over these past few years and Butler did in New York. I feel like I am behind them. I have to catch up to their level; I have to be able to put this secondary over the top. I believe I can be that guy. All I have to do is just get healthy, continue to work hard and learn the scheme.”

                            As he prepares for his fourth season in the league, Hill is hoping to finally meet the expectations that came when the Rams made him the 15th pick in the 2006 NFL Draft.

                            Soon after that, Hill declared his intentions to make the Pro Bowl and become one of the leaders of the Rams’ defense. Not for a lack of talent, none of those desires have been fulfilled.

                            In fact, Hill’s biggest enemy has come down to nothing more than an inability to stay healthy.

                            “I never say it was a confidence thing because I never lost my confidence,” Hill said. “It was just one thing after another. It was just boom, boom, boom, get injured, get injured, get injured. I have got to stay away from these injuries.”

                            To that end, Hill has spent as much or more time than any Ram in the weight room in the offseason. While he’s not fully recovered from the knee injury that put him on the sidelines for almost all of last season, Hill is edging closer to 100 percent health.

                            “I don’t have any impressions from Tye from before,” defensive coordinator Ken Flajole said. “I know he has had some injury situations. We are just excited from the fact that he’s healthy and he’s out here working and he’s learning our defense. Just to have him out on the field is a great thing.”

                            Hill believes that by adding some weight to his 5’10 frame, he can avoid some of the injuries that have plagued him in the past three years.

                            When he entered the league, Hill said he weighed about 185 pounds. But in the time since, he says he had dipped as low as...
                            -04-04-2009, 04:16 PM
                          • r8rh8rmike
                            Rams Tye Hill: 'I Think I've Had My Share Of The Down Times'
                            by r8rh8rmike
                            Rams Tye Hill: 'I think I've had my share of the down times'
                            Former top pick has endured two rough seasons
                            BY STEVE KORTE - News-Democrat

                            ST. LOUIS -- If any player on the St. Louis Rams could use a fresh start, it's cornerback and former first-round draft pick Tye Hill.

                            "I think I've had my share of the down times with the injuries and stuff like that,'' Hill said. "I definitely feel like that's behind me now. I'm ready to move on."

                            Hill had a promising rookie season after being the Rams' first-round draft choice in 2006, but he played in only 12 games over the past two seasons due to injuries.

                            Now healthy, Hill wants to prove he was worth that first-round pick.

                            "I'm looking forward to the future, and I'm looking forward to being that corner that the Rams drafted 15th overall in '06,'' Hill said.

                            Hill said his motivation goes beyond not wanting to be labeled as a draft bust.

                            "Of course I want to just because I was a first-round pick, but at the same time, I'm a competitor,'' Hill said. "I'm a football player, and this is all I've been doing all my life. If you don't have that desire to go out and to be what you think you are every Sunday or every day you're out at practice, then you don't need to be playing this game.''

                            A broken bone in his back caused Hill to miss the final eight games of the 2007 season, and a knee injury kept him on the shelf for the final 12 games of the 2008 season.

                            Hill was supposed to return in a couple of weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery to repair torn cartilage in his knee after Week 4 last season, but the injury lingered until the Rams finally placed him on injured reserve on Dec. 7.

                            "We didn't know what was going on until it was too late,'' Hill said. "The season was beyond gone by the time we found out what was really wrong with my knee.''

                            Hill said the real problem was a Baker's cyst in his knee.

                            "Initially it was a torn meniscus, and initially it's 4-6 six weeks ,'' Hill said. "But, I kept complaining of irritation in the back of my knee, which was not letting me run. Come to find out there was a big cyst back there.''

                            Hill had the cyst removed from his knee.

                            "All they really had to do was go in and take a cyst out,'' Hill said. "They just had to use an ultrasound and dig deep in it with a needle. It's nothing you want to go through, though."

                            Hill said the knee feels 100 percent.

                            "I'm not where I want to be yet, but I'm definitely almost there,'' Hill said. "I just have to continue to work every day. I think my speed definitely came back, and that's one thing I'm really excited about.''

                            Hill is currently starting opposite Ron Bartell, although a line of young players...
                            -08-05-2009, 09:20 PM
                          • r8rh8rmike
                            CB Tye Hill Ready For Life As An Atlanta Facon
                            by r8rh8rmike
                            09.02.2009 10:17 am
                            CB Tye Hill ready for life as an Atlanta Falcon
                            By Jim Thomas
                            St. Louis Post-Dispatch

                            At 8 a.m., Tuesday, cornerback Tye Hill was a Ram, sitting in a meeting room in Earth City, getting ready for Thursday’s preseason finale against Kansas City. Less than eight hours later, he was in Atlanta, taking a physical, and getting ready for his new career as a Falcon.

                            “It was definitely a surprise,” Hill told the Post-Dispatch Tuesday night.

                            Hill’s morning at Rams Park was interrupted by a call to the office of coach Steve Spagnuolo. This time of year, such a summons normally isn’t a good thing. Obviously, it wasn’t this time, either.

                            “(Spagnuolo) told me the Rams are trying to build,” Hill said. “I can definitely see that. . . .They said they needed some picks. I understand that.”

                            In the case of the Hill trade, it turned out to be only one pick _ and a seventh-rounder at that. Which tells you the Rams probably were thinking of cutting Hill, and tried to get something for him. In keeping with Hill’s sunny-side-up personality, he took no parting shots as he left the Rams.

                            He liked the players, liked the new coaching staff, and had a lot of friends in the locker room.

                            “I wish nothing but the best for the Rams,” he said. “I’m going to miss my teammates. I’m going to miss St. Louis. I’ve got to move on.”

                            Hill departed so quickly Tuesday morning for Atlanta, he had time to say goodbye to only a few teammates.

                            “I’m going to miss those guys,” Hill said. “I think the Rams are going to be really good. Spags is the right guy for the job.”

                            Similarly, Hill had good things to say about Jonathan Wade, his probable successor.

                            “I think he’s going to be a good player for St. Louis,” Hill said. “He’s definitely come a long way.”

                            As of Tuesday night, Hill said he wasn’t familiar with what the Falcons had on their depth chart at the cornerback position. But he’s looking forward to the challenge, and excited about the opportunity to play only about two hours from his South Carolina home.

                            “That’s the biggest thing. I’m closer to home,” Hill said. “Now my family and friends can see me play. It’s always a great opportunity when you get a fresh start. Hopefully, it’s a good move for St. Louis. Definitely it’s a great move for me.”
                            -09-03-2009, 10:48 AM
                          • RamWraith
                            Hill Speeding Up Progress
                            by RamWraith
                            Wednesday, August 1, 2007

                            By Nick Wagoner
                            Senior Writer

                            When the Rams open the regular season on Sept. 9 against Carolina, Tye Hill will be the most experienced Rams cornerback on the field.

                            With Fakhir Brown suspended for four games and no guarantee that he will win his appeal of the suspension, Hill becomes the most tenured Ram in terms of games played with the team.

                            Along with that, Hill carries the weight of helping to lead a young secondary while it waits for the return of its veteran leader.

                            “That sounds kind of odd and kind of crazy being in my second year but I do have a lot of game experience,” Hill said. “I am going to have to go out there and set an example by being what St. Louis drafted me to be.”

                            In Hill’s case, the idea of game experience is all relative. While he has more starts with the Rams than any other cornerback on the roster, he was only a rookie last year and played in 16 games with nine starts.

                            As the Rams try to sort out who will be starting in Brown’s place on the other side among a group that includes Ron Bartell, Jonathan Wade and Lenny Walls (Bartell is the favorite), Hill is doing everything he can to prove that he’s ready to take on the opponent’s best receiver.

                            “I have to be honest with you,” coach Scott Linehan said. “Tye Hill looked like why we drafted him in the first round a year ago. He’s ready to take his game to a new level.”

                            Linehan says that knowing that Hill will have plenty of pressure on him to perform, especially in the first four games.

                            “I think there’s pressure on all of us to do better,” Linehan said. “He’s going to get a lot of one on one matchups against their best. That’s why we think so much of him. He feels pretty confident in that role.”

                            Naturally confident anyway, Hill is setting his sights on becoming one of the elite cover corners in the NFL. As a rookie, he posted three interceptions with four passes defended and a fumble recovery in addition to his 42 tackles.

                            After starting the season in the slot, Hill started a pair of games in the middle of the season because of injuries. He then took over the starting role for good on Nov. 19 against Carolina.

                            In that game, Hill had his ups and downs, giving up a long pass early in the game, but bouncing back later with an acrobatic interception. Soon after the season, Hill made it a point to work on the little things that can make him the type of player he wants to be.

                            “I believe I am working towards becoming a shutdown corner but right now I am still working,” Hill said. “I am still working to be that guy St. Louis drafted me to be. It’s a day-to-day process and hopefully one day I will be known around the league as a shutdown corner.”

                            Soon after the Rams drafted him a year ago, Hill made it clear that he would...
                            -08-01-2007, 01:21 PM
                          • RamWraith
                            Hill Enters Big Year
                            by RamWraith
                            Monday, August 18, 2008

                            By Nick Wagoner
                            Senior Writer

                            When Tye Hill arrived in St. Louis after the Rams used the 15th pick in the 2006 NFL Draft, he wasted no time in declaring his lofty goals.

                            Hill wanted to be a starter in year one and earn a trip to the Pro Bowl in Hawaii by year two. That type of confidence is imperative for anyone playing the cornerback position.

                            But confidence can cut both ways. While it might help Hill have a short memory when he gets beat for a long gain, it also can work against him when he doesn’t live up to his self-created expectations.

                            As Hill enters his third NFL season, he has proved himself as one of the team’s starting corners but he hasn’t really even sniffed a Pro Bowl invitation or any other individual award.

                            “Honestly, I think this is a make or break year for me,” Hill said. “I am not going to say I haven’t lived up to expectations this whole time but I just feel like the third year things are supposed to click and you are supposed to show what kind of player you really are. There’s no excuse not to be good. I know the defense; I am very confident and if I wasn’t the Rams wouldn’t have drafted me in the first round.”

                            Hill has found a way to retain his trademark confidence in spite of a variety of injuries that have kept him from reaching what many consider to be vast potential.

                            As a rookie, Hill was perhaps the team’s most consistent cornerback. He earned a starting nod not even halfway through the season and started 10 games as he led the team in interceptions with three and added a fumble recovery and 42 tackles.

                            The promise of that season created big expectations for Hill entering year two. With fellow starter Fakhir Brown suspended the first four games of that season; Hill stepped into the role as the top corner for the season opener against Carolina.

                            Hill battled Carolina’s star receiver Steve Smith in the opener, holding his own with the exception of a 68-yard touchdown pass in the second half.

                            Any momentum Hill might have gained from that game was lost in the next week’s practice as Hill was struck by injury.

                            Hill suffered broken bones in his lower back on Sept. 13 that kept him out four games. After his return, Hill caught more bad luck when he dislocated his left wrist on Dec. 2. That injury landed him on injured reserve, ending his season.

                            At the time Hill was placed on injured reserve, he had 30 tackles with one interception and one pass defended. It was clearly a disappointment for Hill. The disappointment of falling short of his goals and missing half the season has become added motivation for the maturing Hill, who has taken the opportunity to adjust his goals for this season.

                            “It’s more motivation but I always tell people when I came in as a rookie, I was young so my mouth kind of...
                            -08-19-2008, 04:49 AM