Rams G.M. Les Snead went out of his way during the Scouting Combine to make it known that the team won’t be applying the franchise tag to receiver Danny Amendola.
Beyond that, who knows what the Rams will do?
Adam Caplan reports via Twitter that the Rams are “considering other options” for keeping Amendola. But there aren’t many: Sign him to a new deal or use the transition tag.
The transition tag has been used less frequently since 2006, when the rules changed to make it fully guaranteed once the tender is signed. With Amendola getting $8.867 million under the receiver transition tag and the Rams getting only the right to match, that’s not a much more attractive option than the $10.537 million franchise tag.
Caplan tweets that there’s a rumor the Rams are considering applying the transition tag to Amendola as a tight end. Yes, as a tight end. That would allow the Rams to secure a right to match, in exchange for a one-year $5.194 million offer.
It sounds ridiculous on the surface. But in reality it’s a no-lose proposition for the Rams. If the Rams have an argument that can be made with a straight face (e.g., the proliferation of tight ends who are also slot receivers has converted the position of slot receiver into an extension of the tight end position), they can plant the flag in the ground, advance their position in the grievance process, and hope for the best.
If they lose, what have they lost? Amendola becomes an unrestricted free agent.
If the Rams win, they will at a minimum have helped frame the manner in which the teams may be trying to characterize tight ends like Jared Cook. Wide receivers line up wide; tight ends line up tight to the line or in the slot.
And if the grievance can’t be processed on an expedited basis by the time free agency begins, the Rams possibly will scare off suitors for Amendola until after the point at which the big free-agency money has flowed.
Whatever the Rams do, if they’re considering an aggressive approach like this it’s possible that they’re merely reacting to the tampering that likely has been transpiring in the 10 days since Snead said the franchise tag won’t be used.
Either way, we’ll have an answer as to the Rams’ tag plans for Amendola by 4:00 p.m. ET on Monday.