Rams sixth-round receiver Bud Sasser went unclaimed through waivers on Friday, which means he has reverted to the team’s non-football illness list for the rest of the 2015 season. It also means he’ll receive no further pay.
Per a league source, the Rams won’t be exercising the option to pay Sasser while on NFI.
The pay-or-don’t-pay decision is up to the team. In this case, the Rams opted to sign Sasser at a slotted signing bonus of more than $113,000. In theory, the Rams could have simply rescinded their rights to him upon discovering that he has a heart condition that, in the opinion of the Rams, prevents him from playing.
The Rams could release him from NFI at any time, and that could be something Sasser wants, given that he believes he can play. He agent has said that Sasser has received clearance from the Mayo Clinic.
The Rams see it otherwise, and apparently so do the other 31 teams. Sasser would have been a bargain via waivers, given that the Rams already paid the signing bonus. If he had been claimed, a new team could have given him its own examination before deciding whether to let him play.
The Rams see the risk as unacceptable, and it’s apparently not a position that will change. Moving forward, the biggest question becomes whether the Rams at some point will relinquish his rights. If/when Sasser is available, the question then becomes whether another team will clear him to play.
For now, Sasser’s NFL career will consist of a $113,000 parting gift from the team that drafted him.