Since the Los Angeles Rams don’t plan on using the franchise tag in 2019, the team must now decide if Dante Fowler Jr. would be worth a potential long-term deal.
After looking at the last couple of seasons with players like Trumaine Johnson and Lamarcus Joyner, the Los Angeles Rams were an early candidate to use the franchise tag once again during the 2019 season, especially since it would be tempting to use it on Dante Fowler Jr.
Before last year’s trade deadline, the Rams realized they had nothing to lose by acquiring Fowler from the Jacksonville Jaguars since if the former first-round pick could help the team reach the Super Bowl, this is all that mattered the most.
Turns out, a fresh start on a new team like Los Angeles was just what Fowler needed to get his career back on track, but now comes the tricky part with the NFC champions trying to decide whether the defender is worth bringing back in 2019.
On Thursday, Les Snead told reporters while speaking at the combine that Los Angeles wasn’t planning on using the franchise tag on any player this year, meaning if this ends up being the case, Fowler will officially become a free agent.
Despite their plans of not using the franchise tag, this doesn’t necessarily mean the Rams wouldn’t be interested in giving it another go with Fowler, although the difficult part now would be having to compete with other teams.
As great as it was to watch Fowler make the kind of impact he did on defense once he came over from Jacksonville, his level of play also caught the attention of other teams across the league as well who would love to make him part of their roster.
With this in mind, the money factor could very well come into play if Fowler were to receive a better offer from another team than the Rams. And as much as Los Angeles wold love to pay Fowler the hefty kind of contract he most likely will be seeking, the team knows they have to be careful how much they spent in order to make sure other needs get filled as well.
Hopefully, the Rams can figure out some sort of way to make a fair enough offer to Fowler that he would strongly consider since it would be amazing to see what a full season would be like with him on defense after joining the team in the middle of last year.
If not, well at least Los Angeles should feel confident in their chances of finding a replacement at some point, whether it happens to be through free agency or the upcoming draft in April.