Rams safety Lamarcus Joyner has signed his $11.287MM franchise tag, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). After inking the deal, Joyner participated in the Rams’ offseason workout program, which kicked off on Monday.
In March, the Rams wrestled with the decision to franchise tag either Joyner or wide receiver Sammy Watkins. Ultimately, they tagged Joyner and allowed Watkins to test the open market. Watkins signed a surprisingly lucrative three-year, $48MM deal with the Chiefs with a whopping $30MM guaranteed at signing, numbers that were too rich for the Rams’ blood.
Joyner doesn’t have the same name value as Watkins, but he is a tremendous player in his own right. After spending most of his career at cornerback, Joyner moved to free safety in 2017 and enjoyed a breakout season. In 2017, Joyner started 12 games and graded out as the third-best safety in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus.
This year, Joyner will return as the Rams’ starting free safety, but the rest of the secondary will look decidedly different. Trade acquisitions Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib will be starting at cornerback while veteran Sam Shields will help support them from the bench. In the middle, rising sophomore John Johnson will start at strong safety.
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