The LA Rams must use franchise tag and 1st round tender.

Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams Salary cap
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams have some difficult decisions to make for the 2021 offseason. We’re talking about the decisions over who to re-sign, who to set a price to re-sign, and who to simply allow to walk away.  Why not simply re-sign everyone? Well, the current estimations for the 2021 NFL salary cap are not giving much hope for the team.

In fact, per, the LA Rams already project to have a deficit or to fall over, the estimated 2021 cap by some $25 million.  That doesn’t allow the team much leeway in the effort to resign players back for another contract, does it? And so, we have once more set the stage for a 5 step course to free up $80 million of the Rams salary expense.  When we laid out a similar 5 step plan a year ago, we were accurate on three of five steps.

As has been the case last year, the Rams must strip off the excess salary commitments in order to restock the roster. It happens each season and simply wipes the board of unfavorable player contracts. Once accomplished, the Rams have sufficient currency to rebuild the roster once more.  The question then becomes, who should the Rams re-sign?

One tool in the shed for a general manager is the franchise tag. While both team and player negotiate a long-term deal, a franchise tag allows an NFL team to retain one player at a set one-year contract price.  So what are those contract prices?

They are all pretty high.

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Why would the Rams use a franchise tag? Well, for starters, the Rams know that the team will have lots of competition over their defensive players this year.  Since multiple teams will certainly bid on the LA Rams defensive free agents, a one-year tag will force those teams to shop elsewhere.