Whether it be lack of name recognition or the decent-sized contract, in the eyes of some, the Rams made a bit of a puzzling move in free agency signing former Tennessee Titan CB Coty Sensabaugh. Following the news that former CB Janoris Jenkins would be signing with the New York Giants, the Rams moved quickly to find another cornerback and locked up the 5’11", 187-lb. CB to a three-year contract worth up to $19m, $6.5m of which is guaranteed.
Sensabaugh was a fourth-round pick out of Clemson in the 2012 NFL Draft and appeared in 59 games with 27 starts while with the Titans. During that time, Sensabaugh compiled two interceptions (one returned for TD), 24 passes defensed, three fumble recoveries and a combined 162 tackles while playing as both an outside and slot corner.
Sensabaugh rated as one of the least efficient tacklers during the 2015 season, but his 12 missed tackles were still less than the 16 Janoris Jenkins had. PFF also graded him 88th of 111 qualifying CBs in pass coverage last season, allowing 765 yards and seven touchdowns in coverage. While he is far from a shutdown corner, he does offer positional versatility and insurance in the secondary for a Rams defense that is looking for stability.
One of the primary reasons the Rams targeted Sensabaugh in free agency was due to the familiarity Rams Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams had with him while he served as an assistant/advisor with the Titans in 2013. That specific link lends a bit of credibility to the idea that Williams will maximize Sensabaugh’s ability and has a specific plan for his usage.
Head Coach Jeff Fisher said that Sensabaugh would compete with E.J. Gaines as the outside corner opposite Trumaine Johnson following the signing. That is more likely a precaution and to provide competition for Gaines as he returns from missing all of last season due to a Lisfranc injury. Marcus Roberson also figures into the mix on the outside. At the slot position, he will battle Lamarcus Joyner for snaps. Until training camp, it would be hard to say which of the two has a leg up at the moment as the Rams still have high hopes for Joyner in some capacity. Whether Joyner keeps that slot CB position remains to be seen.
Sensabaugh should see the field often. As long as Gaines and Johnson are healthy, Sensabaugh will see the majority of playing time kicked inside on nickel and dime packages. No one should expect him to replace Janoris Jenkins’ playmaking ability. The Rams will need him to get better at tackling and to play within the defensive scheme, keeping plays in front of him. Williams may even implement him in some blitz packages.
Chances of Making Final Roster (10/10)
After already collecting $5.5m at the time of signing, it would be a catastrophe if the Rams' biggest free agent signing does not make the final roster. Aside from the business aspect, he will offer inside/outside corner versatility and experience with special teams coverage ability.
He will make the roster as one of the four or five top corners.