Snead: Rams not planning to use franchise tag in 2019

INDIANAPOLIS — After using the franchise tag for three consecutive years on a defensive back, the Rams likely will not be going down that same path in 2019. 

“At this point, we don’t plan on using it,” general manager Les Snead said of the franchise tag at his Combine press conference on Thursday. 

The deadline to tag a player is next Tuesday, March 5 at 1 p.m. PT.

Check out photos of Los Angeles Rams players at the NFL Combine through the years. (Credit: Associated Press)

“We've got a few days to determine,” Snead said. “Right now, we definitely do not plan on using it.” 

Los Angeles placed the franchise tag on cornerback Trumaine Johnson during the 2016 and 2017 offseasons, before utilizing the same tool for safety Lamarcus Joyner last year. Joyner and outside linebacker Dante Fowler were considered potential targets for Los Angeles’ tag in 2019. 

On Joyner in particular, Snead said, “[W]e tried to get a long-term [deal] done last year but wasn’t able to get that done. So I do think he’s someone that may want to test that market and see what’s out there for him.”

There are three types of tags that all NFL teams are able to use for one player — the exclusive franchise tag, the non-exclusive franchise tag, and the transition tag. The exclusive tag is just what it sounds like — if it’s placed on a player, he may not negotiate with other teams. The non-exclusive tag allows the player to negotiate with other teams, but if a deal is struck, the tagging team is entitled to compensation. And the transition tag allows the tagging team the ability to match any deal reached on the open market. 

Los Angeles has a few notable players who will be unrestricted free agents at the start of the new league year on March, including starters Joyner, Fowler, defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh, and left guard Rodger Saffold.

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