THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – For the third-consecutive offseason, the Rams have elected not to use the franchise tag. The deadline to do so was 1 p.m. pacific time today.
When the Rams chose not to use the franchise tag last year, Rams general manager Les Snead noted the potential negative consequences of using the short-term solution on a player, and, by extension, the locker room, as a reason against using it.
A team also has to weigh the impact of the tag against its salary cap, as the value of the franchise tag is calculated by taking the average of the top five players' cap percentage at the position for the current season, or 120 percent of the player's previous year salary, whichever is greater. And, given the league is facing a reduced salary cap – though that number has yet to be finalized – taking on such a figure may not make sense financially for a team depending on its cap situation.
Teams can begin negotiating with unrestricted free agents starting Monday, March 15. Free agency and the new league year officially begin next Wednesday, March 17 at 1 p.m. pacific time.