The Rams on Tuesday declined to exercise an option on slot cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman, who would have counted $4.5 million against the salary cap, according to overthecap.com.
Robey-Coleman, who played at USC and began his career as an undrafted free agent with the Buffalo Bills in 2013, played three seasons with the Rams. Before the 2018 season, he signed a three-year, $16.75 million extension, with $8 million guaranteed.
Robey-Coleman, now an unrestricted free agent, becomes the fourth player from the Rams 2019 defense to depart.
Safety Eric Weddle retired after the season. Defensive lineman Michael Brockers agreed to free-agent contract with the Baltimore Ravens, and linebacker Cory Littleton agreed to terms with the Las Vegas Raiders on Tuesday.
Robey-Coleman proved valuable in former defensive coordinator Wade Phillips’ hybrid 3-4 scheme. He gained notoriety in early 2019 when officials missed an obvious pass-interference infraction in the NFC championship game against the New Orleans Saints. He also tipped Tom Brady’s first pass — leading to an interception by Cory Littleton — in the Rams’ 13-3 loss to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII.
With massive financial commitments to quarterback Jared Goff, defensive lineman Aaron Donald, receiver Brandin Cooks and running back Todd Gurley, the Rams are seeking ways to create cap space. Cornerback Jalen Ramsey, acquired in a midseason trade in 2019, will earn $13.7 million in 2020 and is in line for a record-breaking extension.
Robey-Coleman started seven games and intercepted three passes in his three seasons with the Rams.
Troy Hill, Darious Williams, David Long and Dont’e Deayon are other cornerbacks on the Rams roster.