Los Angeles is not bringing back the veteran defensive coordinator, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday, per a source informed of the situation. Phillips' contract expired with the end of the 2019 season and the Rams are declining to renew it.
"His wealth of experience, sound advice, and helpful demeanor has been invaluable to our coaches and players, and also has set an example for me as a head coach and a leader of men," Rams head coach Sean McVay said in a statement.
In terms of yards allowed per game, the Rams actually improved from 2018 to 2019, going from allowing 358.6 per contest (19th in NFL) in 2018 to to 339.6 yards per outing in 2019 (13th in NFL). Phillips' defense also did this while weathering the loss of Aqib Talib to a rib injury (before ultimately trading him to Miami) and John Johnson to a shoulder injury, trading Marcus Peters to Baltimore and incorporating Jalen Ramsey into Los Angeles' secondary in the middle of the season.
But as pretty much everything went with the Rams this season, shellackings at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens and Dallas Cowboys outweighed season-long measurements and ultimately shaped perception of the defending NFC champions, who couldn't manage to make a return trip to the playoffs. With the 72-year-old Phillips' contract expiring, now seemed to be the right time for the two parties to go their separate ways.
Phillips made it clear Monday he's not done coaching, as long as a team will have him in 2020.