The safety plans to sign his $11.287 million franchise tag on Monday before taking part in the team’s offseason conditioning program, Joyner’s agent, Sunny Shah, told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.
Joyner’s plan is a positive development for the star-studded Rams defense. The safety could have decided to hold off signing the franchise tender until later in the summer, seeking a long-term deal in the process. Until tagged players sign the tender, they are not under contract. Therefore it would not be considered a hold-out situation subject to fines for skipping training camp.
The Rams prioritized keeping Joyner in place over receiver Sammy Watkins this offseason. Joyner is a key chess piece in Wade Phillips’ defense. The 27-year old moved to safety in 2017, thriving in that role. His ability to drop down and play slot corner, where he spent his first three years, makes the 5-foot-8 defender a commodity in today’s NFL.
The Rams will attempt to work out a long-term solution to keep Joyner in L.A. Sides have until July 16 to hammer out a multiyear deal. If they can’t get it done by that date, Joyner will play this season on the franchise tag. L.A. could then tag him again next offseason for $13.544 million (120 percent of his 2018 salary) or he’d hit the open market.