You may have heard news recently that the Panthers do not plan to use the franchise tag on DE Julius Peppers. We'll be hearing a little more about the franchise and transition tags since teams will have both tools (or the option of using two transition tags) at their disposal during the uncapped year, instead of the usual rule of only being allowed the use of one or the other. As of this week, teams could begin using those tags on their players, and the news has, so far, mostly been about teams that won't use the tags and players that won't receive them, i.e. Peppers. The deadline for using those tags is Feb. 25.
It seems unlikely that the Rams will be using the franchise tag this season, but it is a good time to take a look at the Rams scheduled to become unrestricted free agents this year.
QB Kyle Boller - Think about it this way, if you had to pick one, who would you rather the Rams bring back, Boller or Bulger? I doubt Boller comes back.
LS Chris Massey - The Rams lost Massey in October to a torn ACL, and he was replaced by Ryan Neill. With Neill snapping the ball (beginning in week 8), Josh Brown missed two of his fifteen FG attempts. Massey might be back, but not with a franchise tag.
TE Randy McMichael - No.
DE James Hall - Chris Long is the only defensive end under contract for 2010. Hall had 4.5 sacks last year, and Spags loved him because he played both DT and DE. He'll be 33 next season. Obviously, he's not getting tagged, but will he be back?
DE Leonard Little - Little led the team with 6.5 sacks last year. Bringing him back with the franchise or transition tags does not seem realistic consider those routes would make him one of the highest paid players in the league...at 36. The question is whether or not the Rams will bring back Little or Hall for part-time work.