Safety Lamarcus Joyner is excited to be back on field with the Rams for at least one more season — even if means playing under the franchise tag.
Los Angeles elected to place the non-exclusive tag on Joyner earlier this month. And while other teams are still free to negotiate with the safety, the original club has the right to match any offer, or receive two first-round picks as compensation should he sign with another club.
But according to Joyner, it's an honor to be given another opportunity with the franchise that drafted him back in 2014.
"It's a good feeling, it's a really good feeling," he said Wednesday. "When I was franchised, I just thought 'OK, now I have another opportunity to try and win a Super Bowl with this organization [and] to continue to see where they see me as far as their future plans.'"
Last season, Joyner made the transition from a slot cornerback to a full-time free safety in coordinator Wade Phillips' 3-4 scheme — a role in which he flourished. Through 12 games, Joyner recorded 49 tackles, nine pass deflections, and three interceptions.
His productivity was one of the reasons the Rams decided to bring him back for the 2018 season.
"Lamarcus is just a really good football player, so you want him to be on your football team," general manager Les Snead said. "We moved him back to a position he played in college and he thrived. On and off the field, just a great human being, a great football player, someone you really want on your team."
And though the franchise tag is not an ideal scenario for Joyner — who is still hopeful that he will be able to come to a long-term deal with the Rams before the July 16 deadline — the safety is determined to make the most of
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"The goal is to get a long term deal done and we're still in the process of that. But I'm fine with it," he said. "I have a lot more good years left that, so this deal won't hurt anything as far as my career and my future."
"We're trying to do what's best for myself, my family, and what's best for the Rams and the organization as a whole," Joyner continued. "So, we have until that time frame to get it done and if we don't, we can continue throughout that process until it's written in stone."