Report: Lamarcus Joyner Not Expected to Sign New Rams Contract Before Deadline

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 16, 2018

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 12:   Lamarcus Joyner #20 of the Los Angeles Rams enters the field prior to a game against the Houston Texans at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Having so far failed to agree to a long-term deal with the Los Angeles Rams by Monday's deadline, safety Lamarcus Joyner looks likely to play the upcoming season on a one-year deal, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Sunday.

Schefter added "the two sides continue talking," so Joyner and the Rams may be able to resolve their differences at the eleventh hour.

The Rams placed the franchise tag on Joyner this offseason, and after signing the one-year tender agreement, the young player will make $11.3 million in 2018 if he doesn't ink a long-term deal, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

This is a big jump from the $1.1 million he made in 2017 in the final year of his rookie contract, per Spotrac.

It's a well-deserved raise for a player coming off the best season of his career after transitioning from cornerback to safety full time.

Joyner was a second-round pick in the 2014 draft and moved around the defense for the first three seasons, mostly serving as a cornerback limited to nickel and dime packages. However, he took over at free safety last season and started all 12 games he played when he wasn't limited by a hamstring injury.

The 27-year-old finished the year with three interceptions—one returned for a touchdown—and 49 tackles, ranking sixth on the team in the latter category.

Although this improvement could have potentially led to a long-term deal on the open market, the Rams will likely want to see one more season of solid play before committing to the safety.

Meanwhile, the Rams have been aggressive this offseason in adding high-priced talent like Ndamukong Suh, Aqib Talib, Brandin Cooks and more. With Aaron Donald also needing a new deal, it might be difficult to find money for Joyner.

Playing a full season anchoring the secondary for a Super Bowl contender would help raise his profile and could lead to a big deal in 2019.