The Los Angeles Rams came into the 2019 season confident in the secondary, particularly at cornerback. However, the Rams made big mid-season trades involving Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib. They managed to land prized cornerback Jalen Ramsey and somehow the secondary improved overall despite occurring in the middle of the year. But how did the corners do individually?
Jalen Ramsey, 4-year pro, 1-year/$13,703,000 contract (remaining)
The prize of the midseason trades was easily Ramsey. Many teams were wanting to acquire him, but Les Snead and the Rams were able to successfully pull the trigger. The Rams gained a franchise cornerback to add to a defense full of pros. Ramsey did battle some injuries during the 2019 season, mostly during his time with the Jacksonville Jaguars. It was clear that Ramsey was done in Jacksonville, injury or not. He managed to snag 33 total tackles, an interception, four pass deflections and a forced fumble in just eight games. Ramsey was unable to participate in Week 17 due to an injury.
Currently, Ramsey is under contract for the 2020 season. While he wasn’t thrilled about his current contract, he did mention that he is willing to finish the contract during negotiations. It’s in the Rams’ best interest to sign Ramsey to a long-term contract before the 2020 season ends. The Rams invested their future first round draft picks for Ramsey so they will likely begin contract negotiations soon if they haven’t already.
Marcus Peters, 5-year pro, 3-year/$42 Million contract (With Baltimore Ravens)
To be perfectly honest, Peters didn’t have a spectacular 2019 season, at least with the Rams. He did improve once joining the Baltimore Ravens. Going by the stats, Peters managed to get 14 tackles, two interceptions, one pick-six and four pass deflections in six games. There were moments he did exceptionally well, but other times he was flat-out beat.
Peters was eventually traded to the Ravens and signed a 3-year contract extension with the team.
Aqib Talib, 12-year pro, UFA
Talib is one of the reasons the Rams went to the Super Bowl in 2018. However, he clearly lost a step in 2019. He wasn’t the same player at all and was frequently beat. In five games, he earned 14 tackles and two pass deflections. Talib suffered an injury and later traded to the Miami Dolphins. He never played a down with the Dolphins.
Talib is set to hit the free agent market, but it may be in his best interest to retire. Although, he could serve a veteran mentor role and have a more reserved role on a roster.
Troy Hill, 5-year pro, 1-year/$2.35 Million contract (remaining)
Going into the year, Hill was thought to have a limited role. He ended up becoming a starter and became a solid contributor once Ramsey came aboard. He started in nine games, played in 14 and earned 41 tackles, two interceptions, eight pass deflections and one sack. Hill’s most memorable game came in Week 11 against the Chicago Bears where he finished the game with six tackles, one interception and one sack.
The Rams still have Hill under contract for 2020, but if Hill continues to improve to be a shutdown corner, he will likely command a hefty contract in 2021. Ramsey and Hill will be one of the better corner duos in the NFL.
Nickell Robey-Coleman, 7-year pro, 1-year/$3.5 Million contract (remaining)
Amid the controversy that shrouded Robey-Coleman’s pass interference no-call, many were wondering what his future with the Rams would be. He struggled overall in 2018. However, he bounced back in 2019 and became a solid cover option as a slot-corner. He finished the season with 35 tackles, seven pass deflections and two forced fumbles.
Robey-Coleman is entering the last year of his contract. The Rams will have to consider re-signing some of the cornerbacks before the end of the 2020 season. Their top three corners are all slated to become free agents.
David Long, 1-year pro, 2-year/$2,333,331 Contract (remaining)
The Rams drafted Long with the hopes he can be molded into a future shutdown cornerback. He came out of the 2019 NFL Draft with plenty of hype since his coverage skills were noted on the collegiate level. That said, he didn’t see much playing time at all. That’s not to say that he won’t adapt into his second season, but it seems Wade Phillips wasn’t too enthusiastic about using him in 2019. Still, the potential with Long is there, so don’t give up on him just yet.
Darious Williams, 2-year pro, 1-year/$660,000 contract (remaining)
Williams made significant strides to remain on the active roster in 2019. He made the 53-man roster after having an impressive preseason. Williams was an active contributor on special teams and even recovered a fumble for a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 7. Williams did have to start for a few games and registered an interception against Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers in Week 16.
Nothing is guaranteed, but it would take a lot to remove Williams from the active roster considering he continues to improve. He is currently in the final year of his contract in 2020.
Dont’e Deayon, 4-year pro, RFA
Deayon had a solid training camp and preseason. It wasn’t quite good enough to be on the active roster, but he was later placed on the practice squad. Deayon was promoted to the active roster late in the 2019 season. He didn’t contribute much, but he did manage to earn some playing time.
Currently, he is a RFA and it shouldn’t take much to bring him back for 2020. The Rams may want to invite him back to compete again against the incoming talents.
Adonis Alexander, 2-year pro, 2-year/$1.26 Million contract
Alexander was drafted by the Washington Redskins in 2018. He initially was placed on their practice squad but was released later on. The Rams signed Alexander to the practice squad toward the end of the 2019 season. He later signed a futures contract to compete for a spot later in 2020.