The LA Rams have a little bit of time remaining, but have quite a stack of items to resolve before the 1:00 pm PDT deadline on March 16, 2022, arrives. At that time, the Rams will need to have cleared enough salary cap space to eliminate their current deficit, free up enough money to pay for any intended outstanding contracts to extend players, and have enough money to cover any Qualifying Tender Offers.
Qualifying Tender Offers are those one-year contracts that can be submitted to any team Restricted Free Agent (RFA) to lock in certain types of protections. With. that in mind, the LA Rams have extended their first Qualifying Tender Offer to RFA kicker Matt Gay. That offer is a one-year contract for a sum of $2.54 million
With that offer on the table, the LA Rams will automatically lock in several layers of protection. The first, and perhaps most important, is their Right-of-First-Refusal. With that in place, the Rams have the right to match any offer made to Matt Gay. If they choose to match the offer, Gay will play for the LA Rams under the terms of that new contract.
However, the Rams may not be able to or will choose not to match that offer. Then, the second layer of protection. Any team that signs Matt Gay away from the Rams must surrender a draft pick to the Rams. In the case of this Tender, that would be the round of the draft pick originally used to draft Gay or a fifth-round draft pick.
The Rams had used a First-Round RFA tender to extend DB Darious Williams in 2021. While more expensive, it would ensure that the Rams would recoup a first-round draft pick if any team successfully signed him away from the Rams.
The LA Rams have two ERFA players remaining: QB John Wolford and ILB Travin Howard. The Rams need only offer minimally qualified Tenders to ensure both players return for 2022. The fact that the LA Rams are addressing Qualifying Tender Offers is a good sign. The LA Rams must have the money upfront to make Tender offers.
So now, we wait once more. It’s kind of what we do when the LA Rams are in the NFL Free Agency market.