THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – For the fourth-straight offseason, the Rams have elected not to use the franchise tag. The deadline to do so was 1 p.m. pacific time today.
When choosing whether to apply the tag to a player, a team must weigh the impact of the tag against its salary cap. 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. When a player receives such designation, they have until mid-July to work out a multi-year contract extension.
Philosophically, Rams general manager Les Snead has said in the past that using a short-term solution like the franchise tag could potentially negatively impact the player and the locker room. Snead said during a March 2020 Rams Revealed podcast appearance that sometimes short-term solutions can be beneficial. However, given the value of the tag, it also takes up a large portion of a team's cap space and doesn't necessarily solve a long-term problem.
Snead last year said it can also make it difficult to get a long-term deal done.
Teams can begin negotiating with unrestricted free agents starting Monday, March 14 at 9 a.m. pacific time. Free agency and the new league year officially begin next Wednesday, March 16 at 1 p.m. pacific time.