Rams expected to place franchise tag on Sammy Watkins

The Los Angeles Rams are coming off an incredibly surprising 2017 campaign that saw them win 11 games and earn the NFC West title. But general manager Les Snead and Co. are going to have a lot of decisions to make this offseason.

Starting receiver Sammy Watkins is set to join cornerback Trumaine Johnson in free agency. Meanwhile, Los Angeles still has to work out a long-term deal with All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald.

In talking about the bevy of off-season moves the Rams must make to remain in contention, ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez noted that they are likely to place the franchise tag on Sammy Watkins.

Acquired from the Buffalo Bills in a trade immediately prior to the season, Watkins tallied 39 receptions for 593 yards and eight touchdowns. Those aren’t spectacular numbers by any stretch of the imagination. Is that enough to warrant the projected $16.3 million Watkins would earn under the tag in 2018? We’re not too sure.

Complicating things a bit further here is the fact that fellow impending free agent Trumaine Johnson is also set to become a free agent. He’s been given the franchise tag two consecutive years now, and will undoubtedly hit free agency in March.