Popular Rams DB Nick Scott trading in horn for stripes
The anticipation of news about LA Rams free agent defensive back Nick Scott signing today was pretty unbearable. We had reports of his visit to the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday, March 16, 2023, which did not result in an immediate signing. That is, of course, despite multiple reports that suggested a contract was signed and in place.
The limbo of 'near to sign' was tough. If the Rams lost Nick Scott to the Bengals, the defense would truly be a matter of significant concern in 2023. But Scott's value, which we estimated between $3.8 - $4.5 million per year, would trigger an NFL algorithm of awarding a compensatory pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, a pick we project as a Round 6 pick.
And so, we waited. And waited.
"Anticipation. Anticipation, it's making me wait. It's keeping me waiting" are the lyrics of the song ANTICIPATION written by 1970s pop music artist Carly Simon. It is a song about the eagerness to speed up time to get where you want to be, and then as you look back, you reminisce about those days of waiting as the good ole days. And so
Waiting for confirmation
But no confirmation was forthcoming throughout much of the day, despite some reports running with the early unconfirmed stories. But where there is a will, there is a way, and the Bengals did manage to lock up a solid young NFL safety for the next three seasons:
Scott joins QB Baker Mayfield, PK Matt Gay, and LS Matt Orzech as Rams' key 2022 players who will play for a new team in 2023. Scott is a native of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, home of the Pennsylvania Amish community. He played collegiate football for Penn State University and likely welcomes the opportunity to play closer to his hometown.
While Nick Scott is young and a rapidly improving NFL defensive back, the Bengals appear to have signed him to a solid value. Over his four year NFL career, he has rapidly improved the number of defensive snaps played from 15 in his rookie season to 984 defensive snaps in his final year. Thanks to his incredible ability to tackle in the NFL Playoffs after the 2021 NFL season, the Rams were able to win four consecutive postseason games to earn their first Lombardi Trophy for the city of Los Angeles. Some say that he was one of the key contributors, and I think that they may be right.
The LA Rams roster needs players. Currently at just 44, the Rams will need to add more players than are currently on the roster, and many hoped that Nick Scott would be in the team's future plans. Alas, that is not the case. With the loss now of both Jalen Ramsey in a trade to the Miami Dolphins, and Nick Scott via the NFL Free Agency market to the Cincinnati Bengals, the Rams secondary is very thin and inexperienced.
Even drafting talented DBs will take time as rookies work through their inevitable learning curve. I hope everyone is prepared for the 2023 NFL season. It's pretty clear that the Rams are taking their foot off the accelator this year.