Tavon Austin Trade Rumors: Rams Will Look to Move WR, Release Also Possible

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 1, 2018

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Tavon Austin, right, breaks away from San Francisco 49ers strong safety Eric Reid during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Rams reportedly will release or look to trade wideout Tavon Austin before the new league year commences on March 14, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network.

As Garafolo noted, Austin is due $8 million for the 2018 season, a figure the Rams are unlikely to pay.

Austin, 26, caught just 13 passes for 47 yards and no touchdowns in the 2017 season, though he did add 59 rushes for 270 yards and a touchdown. While Austin offered the Rams some versatility and playmaking ability, his paycheck didn't match his production, especially considering the team's other weapons on offense.Β 

While they'll only recoup $3 million of his $8 million contract, keeping Austin at this point would be a sunk cost for the Rams.

Running back Todd Gurley was superb and the focal point of the offense. Wide receivers Cooper Kupp, Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods offered far more consistency and production in the receiving game. The Rams can potentially add more weapons in the draft or use their savings from cutting ties with Austin to address other positions of need in free agency.

The Rams signed Austin to a four-year, $42 million contract extension withΒ $30 million in guaranteesΒ in 2016 during the Jeff Fisher regime. By cutting Austin this offseason, however, the Rams essentially are calling a mulligan on that decision.