Rapids owner Julie Johnson is in a difficult spot. Why? Because face of the franchise Ty Johnson’s future with the team beyond JAL XII is dubious.
Ty is in the final tournament of his $21/3-tournament contract. Unless Rapids owner Julie Johnson chooses to use the league’s new franchise tag rule on Ty JAL XII, the upcoming tournament, could very well be his last as a Rapid.
Ty has openly said he “goes where the money is,” so re-signing Ty won’t be an easy task for the Rapids. Because of that, using the franchise tag would seem to be the best option for Julie to retain her star for at least one more tourney (for those unaware the franchise tag allows a team the 1-time option to automatically sign a player set to be a free agent to a 1-tournament contract with a salary of: average salary + 50%). She would have to use the franchise tag before JAL XII though, because you can't use it once the player becomes a free agent.
Here’s the problem with re-signing Ty in either manner… He’s scheduled to have knee surgery in May and will be on crutches for 6-8 weeks after. If the Rapids were to keep Ty around after JAL XII they’ll be forced to have whatever his salary is count on their salary cap the whole time he’s inactive. He could miss up to 2 tournaments during the period he recovers from surgery, so having him on the Rapids (or any team's roster for that matter) is like just taking a large chunk out of the team’s cap space and throwing it away.
Basically, keeping Ty means the Rapids get to hold on to their star but they’ll lose a significant amount of cap space and he won’t even be active for atleast 1 and possibly 2 tournaments. Or, they can simply let Ty go and rebuild the franchise in another direction. Either way It’s kind of a lose-lose situation.
Julie says she will likely make the tough decision by the end of the week.