Mike Sando notes that the price tag for Ron Bartell is going up with more and more cornerbacks being tagged or resigned. The Texans used the franchise tag on Dunta Robinson; the Raiders signed Asomugha, and the Colts hammered out a contract with Kelvin Hayden, taking three prime CBs out of the free agent pool. That makes Bartell one of the more desirable potential free agent CBs.
The situation with Bartell will impact the Rams other roster-shaping decision this spring. If they do ink him to a deal, it means less cap money for other needs. On the other hand, if they don't sign him, they'll still have to spend a truckload of money to fill both starting CB positions. This makes it more likely that Pace and Holt will both become cap casualties, giving the Rams another $14 million to work with.
I have no doubt that Devaney et al have accounted for this possibility; the price for free agent corners is always exorbitant. If they don't reach an agreement with Bartell, they'll have to spend as much or more chasing Leigh Bodden, Domonique Foxworth or Bryant McFadden...unless you want Tye Hill as your top CB. The situation makes me wonder if they won't seriously consider Ohio State CB Malcolm Jenkins.