It was a tough 2016-17 NFL season for the Los Angeles Rams, going 4-12 in their debut back in California. After letting go of head coach Jeff Fisher, the Rams hired Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay with the hopes of revamping the league’s worst offense.
One of the intriguing pieces on Los Angeles is Tavon Austin. Austin has been using the offseason to rehab from a wrist injury and is aiming to be a full participant during training camp come late July. However, according to Alden Gonzalez of ESPN, Austin may no longer fit the team’s long-term plan:
Austin was given a four-year, $42 million extension weeks before the start of the 2016 season. But there is only $5 million in dead money tied to his contract after this year, which means they can easily part ways with Austin if he doesn’t fit McVay’s scheme.
Austin’s injury has prevented him from really working with the new coaching staff and thus makes it hard to project what he’d look like in McVay’s new offensive system. His speed is his greatest asset and the Rams reportedly envision him to be a deep ball threat who can beat the defense vertically. However, Austin is undersized at 5’8″ and has trouble hauling in passes over bigger defenders, capping his upside a bit.
The Rams signed receiver Robert Woods and drafted Cooper Kupp, casting doubt over Austin’s role in the offense next year. With more options for Jared Goff to utilize, it remains to be seen how Austin fits on the field and it may just result in him being pushed out as a result.