Prior to the start of the free agency period, the Los Angeles Rams placed the franchise tag onto safety Lamarcus Joyner worth nearly $11.3 million. This has effectively kept him as a key part of the defense at least through the 2018 season.
However, it has also left the window open in terms of his long-term future with Los Angeles as the team still has the opportunity to secure him under a lucrative multi-year extension. According to Alden Gonzalez of ESPN, Joyner voiced that he is “fine” with the franchise tag and has a plan to work a new deal with the Rams prior to the July 16 deadline.
“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.”
Joyner has worked himself in the position of earning the chance to be paid like one of the top safeties in the league next season. He has efficiently made the transition from just being a versatile defensive back that shifted between positions to a top-tier starting safety this past season.
In the 2017 campaign, he was graded by Pro Football Focus as the third-highest player at his position behind only behind the Chicago Bears’ Adrian Amos (92.0) and the Minnesota Vikings’ Harrison Smith (97.0). He had played in just 12 games where he recorded 49 total tackles, forced a fumble, and hauled in the first three interceptions of his career.
The Rams may still have a few months to work out a new extension for Joyner, the team will likely work to get that done well ahead of the deadline to secure their rising star safety for the long haul as a key part of their secondary.