If Watkins is a no-brainer for the Rams franchise tag, why is cutting Austin the same?

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 17: Wide receiver Tavon Austin
SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 17: Wide receiver Tavon Austin /

Is it a foregone conclusion that receiver Sammy Watkins will receive the franchise tag from the Los Angeles Rams? Maybe. But was he any bigger an enigma than seldom used Tavon Austin?

It’s almost become a no-brainer to say that the Los Angeles Rams will franchise tag Sammy Watkins and that they’ll get rid of Tavon Austin. I mean, Watkins was all about what could be, and a load of potential while Austin was “been there, done that.”

So, why tag Watkins with little to no track record and bail of Austin who, hybrid though he may be, could ultimately be of greater value if not more flexible?

I’ll tell you why?

Watkins, by extension, validates what the Rams think quarterback Jared Goff can be, and is redemption for a pick Los Angeles General Manager Les Snead wishes he could have back.

I won’t disagree.

Austin became more ‘jet-sweep, novelty type, what do we do with him,” kind of guy.

Clearly not what the Rams Intended.

But in a world where keeping an unproductive, one trick pony like Watkins makes sense, how does cutting versatility in Austin do the same?

Tagging a wide receiver suddenly looks trendy. Like parachute pants in the 80’s, or a Zune when everyone wanted an iPod.

Watkins is a pair of gray parachute pants, a bad trend not to repeat, while Austin is more akin to a Zune.

Meaning Austin is still productive, still able to produce something, albeit a bit clunkier and with less flash.

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If I had to wager, I’d be hard pressed to bet against Watkins being in a Rams uniform come opening day. Los Angeles seems hell-bent wanting to make a point with him.

And frankly, Austin became an afterthought on the sidelines.

All told, the Rams would be better off with both on other teams come next season, but that would be a lot of mistakes for the Rams to have to own.

Just like the parachute pants I keep in a box in my garage.