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Should the Rams apply the franchise tag to Kevin Dotson?

Kevin Dotson is a free agent and the Rams can bring him back if they tag him

New Orleans Saints v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Guard Kevin Dotson was a revelation for the Los Angeles Rams in 2023 but his contract is up and they don’t have long to make a decision about his future with the team. Not to mention, it takes two to tango. Will Kevin Dotson be back with the Rams in 2024 and beyond?

I think Dotson needs to be franchise tagged as soon as possible.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Dotson was drafted in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers and was there until right before the 2023 season took off which is when he was traded to the Rams along with a 2024 fifth and 2025 sixth for a 2024 fourth and 2025 fifth. The trade worked out great for L.A., as Dotson played at a high level all season long.

So the question remains whether or not the Rams are going to bring back Dotson.

I felt like the Rams were going to bring back Austin Corbett in the 2022 offseason and they decided to let him walk in free agency, so there should be at least some doubt that Les Snead won’t do the same with Dotson.

That’s why I think the Rams should give him the franchise tag.

In their history, the Rams have only tagged six players and only two of them ended up being signed on a long-term deal afterwards. The last one was Oshiomogho Atogwe in 2009, who signed a five-year deal he would never finish out.

What I would hope is that L.A. tags Dotson just to guarantee they retain his rights while negotiating a long-term agreement.

His market value per multiple sites has him around $18 million per season and the projected total for a franchise tag on the offensive line is just over $19 million. The point being is it’s right in the expected wheelhouse if you somehow get stuck just having him one the one-year deal.

It would be best if the team could just agree to a long-term deal right away, but if not then it’s possible they could use the tag.

PFF ranked Dotson as the top run-blocking guard in the NFL and second overall. He was top 10 three straight years in a row in pass protection, this was his worst year in pass protection per PFF and he still finished 19th in the league out of 64 starting guards.

The bottom line is Dotson is the real deal, he’s just in a perfect situation for both parties and now he’s taking off as a player. The Rams have to do whatever it takes to keep him in Los Angeles and tagging him the smart move if they cannot come to a deal before free agency. Better safe than sorry when it comes to an All Pro level talent on a positional unit that could dictate your whole season if you aren’t careful.