Many NFL teams put two quarterbacks on their active rosters: a starting player and a backup quarterback. The LA Rams decided to forego that strategy, pulling Bryce Perkins from the practice squad and giving him a coveted spot on the initial 53-man roster.
While the young quarterback will be the backup to the backup, he doesn’t seem to mind. With a lucrative contract and a $660,000 base salary for the 2021 season, Perkins is likely happy to wait his turn as he learns all he can from Rams starting quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Backup quarterback Bryce Perkins saw a lot of action in the Rams preseason
The 24-year-old quarterback from the University of Virginia (UVA) is playing his first season with the Los Angeles Rams. He earned a position on the 53-man initial roster after spending last season as an undrafted free agent.
While Stafford recovered from a thumb injury, and backup John Wolford was still out after undergoing an appendectomy, Perkins saw plenty of playing time in the preseason.
Listed as No. 3 on the depth chart, the third-string quarterback played in all three of the 2021 preseason games for the Rams, starting in the last two. As Pro Football Reference reports, he completed 56 of 91 passes for 451 yards and three touchdowns, with a single interception. On 22 carries, he ran for 114 yards.
According to Fan Nation, the Rams head coach Sean McVay said, “I think Bryce can be really proud of the body of work he put on tape throughout the three weeks of the preseason.”
Perkins earned a spot on the Rams initial roster
Despite three losses in the preseason, Perkins still led the NFC quarterbacks with 451 passing yards. According to 247 Sports, Perkins originally committed to Arizona State after graduating from high school in 2015. The first year, he had to redshirt after breaking vertebrae in his neck. He missed the entire 2016 season and later transferred to the Virginia Cavaliers.
Perkins made a full recovery and became a record-breaking quarterback for UVA. In 2019, he led the team to the ACC Coastal Division Championship, appearing in the school’s first Orange Bowl, with 323 yards and four touchdowns.
At the 2020 NFL Draft, the Rams grabbed Perkins. The Orange County Register reported Perkins was “sixth in the nation for total yards (4,299) as a senior at Virginia before the Rams signed him as an undrafted rookie.”
As a member of the practice squad, Perkins signed a reserve/futures contract with the Rams in January 2021. It had a yearly cash value of $40,882, according to Spotrac. When the signal-caller earned a position on the Rams roster, he signed a new two-year contract for $1,485,000. For 2021, his annual base salary is $660,000. Perkins will become a free agent in 2023.
Backing up Stafford & Co. is a dream job for many quarterbacks
With both Stafford and Wolford back on the roster and recovered from their previous injuries, it is doubtful Perkins will see much action in the regular season.
Perkins doesn’t seem phased, as he currently holds a very enviable role among young quarterbacks. He is making great money, doesn’t have to take heavy hits, and can learn from experienced NFL quarterbacks. It’s not a bag gig for a third-string player.
LAFB claims the Rams decided to add Perkins to the 53-man roster “after he flashed big game ability throughout the preseason.” They noted he was “too good to risk another team claiming him off waivers.” As of Week 4, ESPN reports the current status of the third-string quarterback as inactive.