Tavon Austin's career with the Rams is reportedly nearing its end. Despite handing Austin less than two years ago, the Rams will either trade or release Austin this offseason, according to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo.
Rams will either trade or release WR Tavon Austin before the start of the league year, source says. He’s due $8m, so his time with the team is done.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 1, 2018
This is the least surprising news to come out of the NFL combine. The only surprising outcome would be the Rams finding a trade, because it seems incredibly unlikely that anyone will be willing to give up anything of value for Austin. The most likely outcome sees the Rams releasing Austin and some team scooping him up on the open market to give him a chance to make an impression during training camp and the preseason.
Austin entered the league with plenty of promise as the No. 8 overall pick in the 2013 draft. He was the first receiver off the board; the second ended up being DeAndre Hopkins at No. 27 (oops). It's worth noting that Austin is It's not just him.
But the fact remains that Austin never lived up to the billing. From 2013-15 he averaged 647.3 yards and 5.3 touchdowns from scrimmage per season. Even still, the Rams handed him a mega extension in August of 2016 worth up to $52 million. He proceeded to total 668 yards and four touchdowns in 2016. The Rams' new coaching staff under Sean McVay declined to use him much in 2017, when Austin racked up only 317 yards and one touchdown.
And with that, Austin's career with the Rams appears to be coming to an end. He'll never end up seeing all of that $52 million, but he still got paid a ton for very little production.
Someone will likely take a chance on him for cheap -- there are a ton teams out there lacking playmakers of any kind -- but nobody should expect him to be more than an occasional playmaker who can run gimmicky type of plays.