Lamarcus Joyner has right mindset with Rams after receiving franchise tag

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 03: Free safety Lamarcus Joyner
GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 03: Free safety Lamarcus Joyner /

The Los Angeles Rams have every reason to be excited about Lamarcus Joyner’s second season at safety.

Entering the offseason, the Los Angeles Rams faced a difficult decision over whether they should use the franchise tag on Lamarcus Joyner or Sammy Watkins for the 2018 season, although the main preference would have been to see both players return. After making the decision to use the franchise tag on Joyner instead of Watkins, the Rams ended up losing their former speedy wideout to the Kansas City Chiefs, with money of course playing a major role in the decision.

With that being said, Los Angeles knows deep down this was the best decision for the team as a whole, mainly due to the potential surrounding Joyner at safety. Last season marked the first season Joyner played at the position, and when seeing how much of an impact he made from the start, the Rams have to love the potential surrounding Joyner for years to come at safety.

In a way, Los Angeles seems to have the mindset that using the tag on Joyner now will later result in a long-term deal for the safety if all goes according to plan during the 2018 season. Even better, Joyner appears to be on the same page as the Rams when it comes to the potential for a new deal down the road while showing himself worthy this upcoming season, which sadly doesn’t always occur with professional athletes.

From ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez:

"“The goal is to get a long-term deal done — we’re still in the process of that — but I’m fine with it,” Joyner said on a conference call with Los Angeles-based reporters last week. “I have a lot more good years left, I believe. So this deal won’t hurt anything as far as my career and my future.”"

All things considered, give Los Angeles credit for realizing that Joyner would be better off under the tag over Watkins since they would have a better chance at locking the safety up to a long-term deal. Not to mention, Joyner would have been a lot more difficult to replace on defense while at least with Watkins out of the picture, the Rams can take the next-man up approach with someone like Josh Reynolds at receiver.

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The fact that it only took Joyner one season to prove switching him to safety was the best decision Los Angeles could have made shows what kind of potential he has with this defense moving forward. These last few weeks have been filled with plenty of key moves by the Rams, and without question, the decision to use the tag on Joyner will go down as one of the biggest to help build off of last year’s success.