Los Angeles Rams waive former Riders linebacker Derrick Moncrief

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

The Los Angeles Rams have waived former Saskatchewan Roughriders linebacker Derrick Moncrief as one of their first 17 cuts in advance of Saturday’s 53-man roster deadline.

Moncrief had not been with the team long, signing on August 25 to add depth to the linebacking core. As the last man in, Moncrief is also the first one out, though he could still be added to the practice squad should he clear waivers. Moncrief was not the only CFL connection let go by the Rams Friday, as Canadian kicker Lirim Hajrullahu was also among those let go.

Moncrief originally signed with the Las Vegas Raiders in January, however, general manager Mike Mayock waived him in May after adding reinforcements at linebacker in free agency and during the 2020 NFL draft. Even though the Raiders let Moncrief go free, there were other NFL teams interested in his services.

He worked out for the Miami Dolphins, Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions, Arizona Cardinals, New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Francisco 49ers during his NFL team tour in December. NFL franchises had been in touch with Moncrief and his representatives expressing the potential for workouts when COVID-19 guidelines allowed before he was signed by the Rams.

The 27-year-old played three seasons for the Riders. In 2019, Moncrief played 17 games making 69 tackles, four on special teams, four sacks, three interceptions and one forced fumble. He was named a CFL all-star for his outstanding play at the strong-side linebacker position. 

By playing the “SAM” spot in the Canadian game, Moncrief displayed his dynamic abilities as a defender. He can be stout against the run, blitz off the edge, drop back in zone versus the pass and even lock on offensive players in man coverage. In the new era of NFL football with footballs being thrown all over, Moncrief fits the style of player who can thrive on defence.

Being waived for the second time this year is a setback for Moncrief, but his unique skillset could mean another NFL opportunity is possible.