In a story that seems almost too strange to believe, numerous reports are now suggesting that the St. Louis Rams may attempt to tag Danny Amendola with the transition tag. The craziest part is that the team is going to try and argue that Amendola at 5’11” 188lbs. is a tight end.
There have been some quirky loopholes utilized by teams in the past to circumvent the NFL rules and try to maximize their respective bargaining position, but this one seems like a bit of a stretch. General Manager Les Snead has been adamant about not using the franchise tag this offseason and a move such as this would avoid the more than $10 million price tag that would accompany the franchise designation for Amendola as a wide receiver.
As a tight end under the transition tag, Amendola would earn just $5.194 million on a one-year offer. Other teams would be allowed to make offers to Amendola, but the Rams would have the right to match.
While this seems like a crazy idea that would never fly with the league, what do the Rams have to lose by giving it a try? The worst thing that can happen is that the NFL shoots down their foolish attempt and Amendola becomes an unrestricted free agent on March 12. At best though, they could deter other teams from pursuing the playmaker long enough so that all of the big money is spread around elsewhere allowing the Rams to retain him at a discount.
The deadline to designate franchise tags (or transition tags in this case) is 4pm on Monday, March 4. That leaves just a few short hours to find out if the Rams will actually follow through with this attempt to outsmart the tag rule or if they will simply face facts and allow Amendola to enter free agency.
To be continued.