Rams Make Roster Moves

Danario Alexander (Getty/Jamie Squire)

It was a busy day at Rams Park on Tuesday, with the most notable move the official signing of former University of Missouri wide receiver Danario Alexander to the active roster from the practice squad.

Most notable is that Alexander signed a four-year deal that includes a signing bonus believed to be around $35,553. The salaries, like most rookies, are the minimums for years of service: $320,000 this year; $405,000 in 2011; $490,000 in 2012 and $575,000 in 2013.

The bonus is exactly the same as the one received by linebacker Josh Hull, the team's seventh-round pick, and the next-to-last selection in this year's draft.

The Rams have been impressed with Alexander's talent, and have rewarded him for the commitment he showed in continuing to work to get in the best possible physical shape. He was signed by the Rams on Aug. 23, and has been working to strengthen the muscles in his leg that experienced atrophy after the fourth surgery on his left knee following the Senior Bowl last January.

Last week, when asked about Alexander's progress, coach Steve Spagnuolo said, "Him and I have a little game going on. We measure his thigh to make sure they're both the same size and he's always giving me one more centimeter or half-centimeter. I asked him if he knew what a centimeter was and he assured me he did.

"He's moving around well, we just want to make sure if we were to do anything – I'm not saying we would – that you don't put him in a position where he's going to injure something else."

Spagnuolo added that Alexander was "getting close" to being ready, and on Monday indicated that time might be here after Mark Clayton was lost for the season.

"He's excited about doing it," Spagnuolo said. "But the health of the player, to me, is important."

It is still only a guess when Alexander might be active for a game and whether Alexander can contribute this season, considering he had virtually no training camp and hasn't experienced any true contact since the end of last season with Missouri. He becomes the fifth receiver on the 53-man roster, and for fifth receivers to be active in games, it is usually important they have a role on special teams. That could be risky at this stage of his recovery.

In addition to the signing of Alexander, the Rams also elevated versatile fullback/tight end/linebacker Brit Miller from the practice squad, placed tight end Darcy Johnson on injured reserve (concussion) and re-signed wide receiver Brandon McRae and linebacker Mortty Ivy to the practice squad.

McRae was with the Rams in training camp, and was added to the practice squad after the cutdown to 53 players, only to be released from the practice squad on Sept. 14. Ivy, released by the Carolina Panthers in the cutdown to 53 players, was signed to the practice squad on Sept. 6 and released on Sept. 16.

Howard Balzer is the Editor/writer for GridIronGateway Magazine. For subscription information visit GridIronGateway.com (reduced online rate of $39.95) or call 888-501-5752. You can also follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/HBalzer721

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