Rams Release Torry Holt
Friday, March 13, 2009
By Nick Wagoner
The Rams said goodbye to a franchise icon for the second time this week when they officially released wide receiver Torry Holt on Friday after 10 seasons with the team.
"The Rams will forever be grateful for the way Torry Holt represented the Rams on the field and in the community," owner/chairman Chip Rosenbloom said. "He is an All Pro in every sense of the word. Over the past 10 seasons Torry has proven himself to be one of the finest wide receivers in league history. This is a difficult decision because Torry has meant so much to the organization. In my mind and for all Rams fans, Torry will always be a Ram and we wish him and his family nothing but the best as they move forward."
Speculation about Holtís future began during the 2008 season and it became clear that he was not in the teamís plans earlier in the offseason as it continues to re-shape the roster around young, ascending players.
Holtís release saves the Rams a significant amount of money under the salary cap for 2009. This year was the final year of Holtís contract and Holt was due to count $10.2 million against the cap. His release saves the Rams about $8 million in salary cap space.
A decision on Holt had to be made as the Rams would have owed him a $1.25 million roster bonus on March 17. After shopping him in trade to no avail, the team settled on cutting Holt before the bonus was due. In conjunction with tackle Orlando Paceís release on Tuesday, the Rams have saved more than $14 million with the two moves.
The move is more than a matter of economics, though, as the moves the team has made this offseason represent a shift toward younger players. Holtís number declined to their lowest point since his rookie season in 2008 when he finished with 64 catches for 796 yards and three touchdowns.
Before that, though, Holt has proved himself as one of the leagueís most productive and classiest players.
"Torry Holt has had an outstanding career here in St. Louis," general manager Billy Devaney said. "We thank Torry for the many things he has done for the Rams organization on and off the field."
In this decade, no receiver has put up better numbers than Holt. Since 2000, Holt has posted 817 receptions for 11,872 yards, the best totals of any wide out in the league in that time period.
In 158 career games, Holt has averaged 80.1 yards per game, the most per contest of any player in NFL history. Along the way, Holt has caught a pass in 153 consecutive games and ranks 11th in league history in receptions (869) and 14th in yards (12,660).
The Rams originally selected Holt with the sixth overall selection in the 1999 NFL Draft. Holt made an immediate impact as a rookie and over the first few years of his career, teamed with Isaac Bruce to form one of the most dominant receiving duos in league history.
The release of Holt and Pace leaves defensive end Leonard Little as the last remaining member of the team's 1999 Super Bowl championship squad.