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.
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 with $30 million in guarantees in 2016 during the Jeff Fisher regime. By cutting Austin this offseason, however, the Rams essentially are calling a mulligan on that decision.