The Rams might not have enough salary-cap room to keep both.
Franchising Watkins projects to cost the Rams $16.2 million, while Joyner’s tag number is expected to be $11.1 million.
Los Angeles can’t afford to lose Joyner, who appeared in 12 games last season and made 49 tackles, nine pass breakups and three interceptions.
In a similar situation last year, the Rams franchised cornerback Trumaine Johnson a second time.
The Rams did give up a second-round pick in 2018 as well as cornerback E.J. Gaines to obtain Watkins in a trade. But his 39 catches for 593 yards and eight touchdowns in 15 games isn’t worth $16 million.