Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline Tuesday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters. In addition to waiver claims, teams can begin constructing their 16-man practice squads today. These Bears, Lions, Packers and Vikings moves are noted below.
Here are Wednesday’s NFC North transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.
The Lions will carry three quarterbacks for now in Jard Goff, Tim Boyle, and David Blough. Boyle is currently dealing with an injured thumb, which will keep him sidelined for two months. But, in order to hang on to him and dress him ASAP, they’ll have to carry him on their initial 53-man roster. Fortunately, Goff has proven largely durable during his five-year career. He did not miss a start due to injury until late last season, when a thumb surgery sidelined him.
After Monday’s workout, the Lions are signing Nickell Robey-Coleman, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. This will reunite the veteran slot cornerback with new Lions front office bosses Brad Holmes and Ray Agnew.
The new Lions GM and assistant GM were with the Rams during Robey-Coleman’s three-year Los Angeles stay, with Agnew serving as the team’s director of pro personnel when Robey-Coleman signed there in 2017. The Lions were the only team connected to Robey-Coleman this offseason, and the 28-year-old cover man will attempt to stick with a fourth NFL franchise.
Robey-Coleman played last season with the Eagles, and while he did not fare as well in Philly as he did in L.A., the Lions will pair him with 2020 No. 3 overall pick Jeff Okudah and recently added vet Quinton Dunbar. Detroit dismantled its 2020 cornerback crew, cutting Desmond Trufant and slot defender Justin Coleman this offseason. The Lions have now added two ex-Rams defensive regulars this year, with Robey-Coleman following Michael Brockers to the Motor City.
Pro Football Focus ranked Robey-Coleman as a top-20 overall corner from 2017-19, when he manned the slot for Wade Phillips-led Rams defenses. The eight-year veteran will transition to first-year DC Aaron Glenn‘s unit in Detroit.
Robey-Coleman began his NFL career with four Bills seasons, arriving in Buffalo as a UDFA. He has done well to beat the odds and stick around in the league, and the rebuilding Lions will provide another opportunity.
The Lions will look into a veteran cornerback Monday. They are set to work out Nickell Robey-Coleman, according to veteran NFL reporter Josina Anderson (on Twitter). Despite the calendar having flipped to August, this marks the first piece of Robey-Coleman news since he became a free agent in March.
Although Robey-Coleman played the 2020 season with the Eagles, his most prominent NFL work came in Los Angeles. The 29-year-old defender has ties to both Lions GM Brad Holmes and assistant GMRay Agnew, with each being with the Rams throughout Robey-Coleman’s time with the team. Robey-Coleman spent three seasons with the Rams, playing in L.A. from 2017-19.
The new Lions HC and DC — Dan Campbell and Aaron Glenn — were on the other end of Robey-Coleman’s defining play, his controversial collision with Tommylee Lewis near the end of the 2018 NFC championship game. The ex-Saints staffers will obviously not let that stop their new team from taking a look at the veteran slot defender. Robey-Coleman has eight years’ experience. If signed, he would join ex-Rams teammates Jared Goff and Michael Brockers in Detroit.
Robey-Coleman has been one of the league’s better slot defenders over the past several years, bouncing from Buffalo to L.A. to Philly. Pro Football Focus viewed the Rams’ version of Robey-Coleman as a high-end cover man, ranking him as a top-20 corner from 2017-19. PFF slotted him outside the top 80 during his one Eagles season, however. Robey-Coleman allowed a 78.8% completion percentage on passes thrown his way in 2020 — well north of his Rams marks.
Robey-Coleman was set to count for a $4.5MM cap hit before the Rams turned him loose. Last year, he appeared in 16 games and played on 64% of their snaps. Before he joined LA in 2017, he spent the first four years of his career with the Bills and built a reputation as one of the league’s better slot men.
March 17th, 2020 at 3:27pm CST by Andrew Ortenberg
Another cornerback is hitting the market. The Rams have informed Nickell Robey-Coleman that they won’t pick up his option and he’ll become an unrestricted free agent, according to Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link).
Robey-Coleman would’ve had a $4.5MM cap hit had the Rams picked up his option. Los Angeles has been shedding defenders left and right in free agency, as starters Michael Brockers and Cory Littleton both just landed big contracts from other teams. Eric Weddle also retired, so the defense is going to look quite a bit different in 2020. The Rams traded away cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib midway through last season, so their current unit is virtually unrecognizable from the one we saw at the beginning of last year.
Robey-Coleman appeared in all 16 games and while he only started three, he played about 64 percent of the defensive snaps, so this is a significant move. The Rams have Jalen Ramsey at corner now, but not a whole lot after him. Troy Hill is still under contract, and last year’s third-round pick David Long will likely be counted on to play a bigger role assuming they don’t make any more moves.
Originally an undrafted free agent out of USC in 2013, Robey-Coleman signed a three-year, $15.75MM deal with the Rams back in 2018 that included an option for the 2020 season. Primarily a slot corner, Robey-Coleman is perhaps most well known for being the defender on the infamous pass interference non-call in the Rams’ NFC Championship Game win over the Saints two seasons ago. He should generate significant interest from teams looking for someone to man the slot.