By tendering Alaric Jackson, Rams are letting the market set his price

Though it’s not official yet, the Los Angeles Rams plan to use a restricted free agent tender on Alaric Jackson, their young left tackle who started 15 games last season. The Rams are deciding whether to use the second-round tender for $4.89 million, or the original-round tender at $3.116 million for one season.

Either way, the Rams are wise to tender Jackson rather than letting him become an unrestricted free agent. By tendering Jackson at either level, they’re going to let the market set his price for them.

Teams are allowed to sign restricted free agents to offer sheets, which the player’s original team will then have a chance to match. Essentially, the Rams are allowing other teams to tell the Rams how much Jackson is worth. If no one signs him to an offer sheet worth more than his tender, they’ll keep him at that price – either $4.89 million or $3.116 million.

If the Rams go with the original-round tender, they won’t receive any draft pick compensation for losing Jackson in the event that they don’t want to match an offer. That’s because he was an undrafted free agent when he came into the NFL. At the second-round level, the Rams would receive a second-rounder for letting Jackson go.

The question is whether the extra $1.78 million is worth paying in order to better protect Jackson from leaving. Either way, the Rams are going to let the rest of the NFL determine exactly how much the young left tackle is worth.

The original-round tender is a bit riskier, but the Rams might feel confident no one will sign him to an offer so high that they won’t be willing to match.

Story originally appeared on Rams Wire