The Los Angeles Rams announced Tuesday that they’ve used the non-exclusive franchise tag on S Lamarcus Joyner.
- Ian Rapoport reports that the Rams are still expected to try to re-sign WR Sammy Watkins in the coming days.
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) March 6, 2018
Franchising Joyner will cost the Rams $11,287,000 fully guaranteed for the 2018 season. However, the two parties will have plenty of time to negotiate a long-term extension before the July deadline.
Joyner, 27, is a former second-round pick of the Rams back in 2014. He played out the final year of his rookie contract and is now in position to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
In 2017, Joyner appeared in 12 games for the Rams and recorded 49 tackles, three interceptions with one being returned for a touchdown, a forced fumble and nine pass defenses. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 3 safety out of 87 qualifying players.
Watkins, 24, was taken with the No. 4 overall pick back in 2014 after the Bills traded up to get him. The Bills traded him and a 2018 sixth-round pick to the Rams in return for CB E.J. Gaines and a 2018 second-round pick during the preseason.
Watkins played out the final year of his four-year, $19.935 million rookie contract and is now in position to be an unrestricted free agent in the coming months. The Bills somewhat surprisingly declined to pick up Watkins’ fifth-year option last year.
In 2017, Watkins appeared in 15 games for the Rams and caught 39 passes for 593 yards receiving and eight touchdowns. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 40 receiver out of 120 qualifying players.
We had both players featured in our Top 100 – 2018 NFL Free Agents list.