Browns snatch Lewis after his cut by Rams

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

ST. LOUIS -- An indication of the St. Louis Rams' roster strength is the battles that went to the wire, and the quarterback they lost.

Thaddeus Lewis, who lost a battle for the backup quarterback job, was picked up by the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. The Rams were hoping to re-sign Lewis to the practice squad for a second straight year, but his preseason work got the attention of Browns coach Pat Shurmur, St. Louis' offensive coordinator last season.

Two other players cut Saturday quickly found homes, wide receiver Mardy Gilyard went to the Cleveland Browns and defensive end George Selvie went to the Carolina Panthers.

The closest call in the final cutdown may have been keeping wide receiver Danario Alexander despite a balky left knee over Donnie Avery, who missed last season with a knee injury.

"I still think Donnie Avery is going to be a good player in the league and, knock on wood, Danario is going to give us a chance on game day to be out there and make plays and help us win games," Rams general manager Billy Devaney said Sunday on a conference call. "So we weigh everything."

Devaney noted that having tough decisions to make is better than the alternative.

"We realize every time we make a move to put somebody out there, we always say you have to expect to lose them," Devaney said. "Like we said when they were leaving the building, we hope they go on and have great careers."

The Rams re-signed six players to the practice squad, all undrafted free agents. They have two spots open, one of them for signing a quarterback that Devaney said was a priority.

Like many teams following a rule change to allow a 46-man game-day roster instead of 45 players plus a third-string quarterback, the Rams elected to carry just two quarterbacks with veteran A.J. Feeley as the backup behind Sam Bradford.

Seven draft picks made the 53-man roster.

Spach, Wragge signed

The Rams signed tight end Stephen Spach and center Tony Wragge, players cut by NFL West opponents.

Spach was released by the Arizona Cardinals, who signed free agents Todd Heap and Jeff King this summer. Wragge was released by the San Francisci 49ers.

The Rams released tight end Ben Guidugli, an undrafted rookie, and center/guard Hank Fraley.

Spagnuolo was an assistant in Philadelphia when Spach was a rookie.

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