The St. Louis Rams and The Franchise Tag


November 11, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; St. Louis Rams tackle Rodger Saffold (76) blocks San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Aldon Smith (99) during the fourth quarter at Candlestick Park. The 49ers and the Rams tied 24-24. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Today teams are able to use the franchise tag on players that they are unable to get a long-term deal with done, but yet want to retain for another year and continue to work on a long-term deal.

The St. Louis Rams have don’t have a lot of important players that they would use a franchise tag on, but if they did use it, it would be on offensive lineman Rodger Saffold.

The Rams haven’t used the franchise tag since 2009 when they used it on   Oshiomogho Atogwe to ensure they wouldn’t lose him in the free-agent market. Since moving to St. Louis in 1995, the Rams have used the tag six times, with half of those tags were used on former Rams left tackled Orlando Pace.

For offensive lineman, the projected franchise tag would cost $11.2 million. As much as the Rams would like to keep Saffold, it is unlikely that they will use it on him.

Saffold has been one of the most consistent players on the Rams line as well as being one of the most versatile. The only problem with Saffold is his history of injuries as he has only played an entire season once in his NFL career. That alone is a red flag when using the franchise tag.

Not only that, but the Rams don’t have the cap space to use the franchise tag. Even if the Rams released center Scott Wells and guard Harvey Dahl, the savings wouldn’t be enough to cover the tag.

Once again it looks like the Rams will go an offseason without using the tag and will continue to try and get Saffold through a long-term deal. Even if the Rams don’t get a deal done before free agency, they could wait and see what other team offer him before making an offer themselves.

Keeping Saffold would be huge for the Rams as they wouldn’t necessarily have to draft an offensive lineman in the higher rounds of the draft or try and get one in free agency. The Rams would like to keep Saffold for the long-term, but general manager Les Snead won’t break the bank to do it.