LA Rams will not pick up option year for CB Nickell Robey-Coleman

(Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)
(Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images) /

The LA Rams will reportedly not pick up the option year for CB Nickell Robey-Coleman to return in 2020

The LA Rams are foraging for funds right now. The team needs to free up available salary-cap space and seems to have no interest in restructuring contracts with some of the higher paid players.  So what is left to do?

Well, the Rams have gone to the piggy bank now and opted not to pick up the $4.5 million option year to bring back CB Nickell Robey-Coleman in 2020.  While that money was an option year, many salary cap estimates had included it as committed dollars for the Rams 2020 available cap space.  That money will now return to the team’s allocation of available funds to spend on other players.

While this may come as a surprise to some, it does fit the Rams restructuring defense theme underway already for 2020.  So far, the Rams have lost S Eric Weddle to retirement, DE Michael Brockers to the Baltimore Ravens, ILB Cory Littleton to the Las Vegas Raiders, and now CB Nickell Robey-Coleman as a 2020 salary cap casualty.

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Robey-Coleman is a solid defender. In fact, he was ranked among the top-20 defensive backs by Pro Football Focus in 2019.  Letting him walk for a mere $4.5 million seems… confusing.  While we had named Robey-Coleman as a player not likely to return in 2020, the hope was for the Rams to elect the option year. Then trade the cornerback to another NFL team, perhaps for as little as a seventh-round pick. That simple effort would have accomplished the same effect to the salary cap, and netted the Rams an additional pick in the upcoming draft.

CB David Long will likely take over for the Rams at the slot cornerback position. He had a great review from last year’s draft, and that will likely carry over to the team.  The Rams are at the coin-counting phase of their salary cap allotment and are desperately trying to free up some currency to make a move to sign a player or two.

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Look for several teams to jump on his availability in free agency. Even if he signs a major contract, he will not factor into the Rams comp pick calculations for 2021, as the Rams did not pick up his option year.