The LA Rams seem to be a team willing to let the chips fall where they may. While you may or may not be a fan of that strategy, it is what it is for now. And curiously, the LA Rmas did in fact have a candidate for either an exclusive or a non-exclusive franchise tag, PK Matt Gay would have been a candidate for the LA Rams to use their franchise or transition tag.
A franchise tag ensures the team is given the right of first refusal, or simply a chance to meet any offer from another team. If the original team chooses not to do so, they are compensated by the new team with draft picks. A transition tag simply provides the original team with the right of first refusal. Surprisingly, the cost of designating a placekicker is not overly costly. Per Over the Cap.com, the cost to franchise tag Matt Gay would have set the LA Rams back $5,393,000. The cost to transition tag Matt Gay was even less expensive, coming in at $4,869,000.
Instead, the LA Rams have opted to do neither:
Do the LA Rams have a longer term deal in the works? While the team is still putzing about trying to free up salary cap space, it appears that the slow-acting strategies of trade-for-him-or-he'll-be-cut is not freeing up space quickly enough.
I would think that one of the NFL's most productive place kickers since joining the Rams would indeed be worth fighting to keep. Use of one of the NFL's tags are designed to insulate that team from having the rug pulled out from under them when the NFL Free Agency market officially opens at 1:00 pm PT on March 15, 2023.
It's a strategic risk. As a rule, players are not overly happy to be tagged, as it forces them to play for an NFL team beyond their originally contracted terms. And it forces that player to compete for a specific amount. Of course, many teams use that tag as insulation, allowing the team and player's agent time to hammer out a more acceptable multi-year solution. But in the meantime, Rams placekicker will test his value in the 2023 NFL Free Agency market.
I, for one, am not overly optimistic that it will be the LA Rams who sign him to play in 2023.