The Rams typically announce the signings of their entire draft class at the same time, generally at the end of the team’s OTAs, so it was a bit of a surprise when the club locked up sixth-round wideout Bud Sasser this week. Two days after word broke of Sasser’s signing, we have an explanation for why the Rams completed the deal early.
According to Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com, the Rams will waive Sasser later today after he was unable to get cleared physically, due to a heart condition. By signing him this week, the Rams ensure that Sasser, the No. 201 pick in the draft, still receives his signing bonus, worth just under $114K. However, it appears the former Missouri receiver won’t play a game for the club that drafted him.
As Wagoner notes (via Twitter), Sasser wasn’t invited to this year’s scouting combine, where prospects typically undergo extensive physical examinations. Had Sasser’s condition been identified at that point, it would’ve saved the Rams a draft pick, but it also would’ve cost the wideout his NFL signing bonus.
We saw a situation similar to Sasser’s play out a year ago, with a player selected at nearly the same spot in the draft. Offensive lineman Garrett Scott, picked 199th overall by the Seahawks, signed his rookie contract and was cut a day later due to a heart condition. Scott landed on Seattle’s non-football injury/illness list for the 2014 season, and Sasser will get a similar designation when his release becomes official.