Browns’ John Johnson III Had A ‘Little Hope’ He Would Be Able To Re-Sign With Rams
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With the Los Angeles Rams making efforts to shore up some much-needed cap space this offseason, some turnover was expected on both sides of the ball. As a result, the departure of safety John Johnson III was among the biggest blows that they suffered in free agency.

Johnson was slated for a big payday after establishing himself as an integral member of this elite Rams defense through the years. Unfortunately, the team had a handful of players set to become free agents and limited resources to work with in order to bring them back.

Johnson and linebacker Leonard Floyd were the top priorities on defense. L.A. made their decision by rewarding Floyd with a four-year, $64 million deal.

The Rams had already taken care of extensions for cornerback Jalen Ramsey, along with wide receivers Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods last year. Johnson admits that the writing was on the wall for his looming departure although he remained hopeful that they would get something done, via Cameron DaSilva of USA Today:

“At that Packers playoff game, I kind of had a moment of they were up and they were taking knees, I kind of felt like this might be the last time that I suited up as a Ram, just the way things were going,” he told Cleveland media during his first press conference. “Guys had gotten extensions early in the year, and I was kind of the one who got left out so I just kind of felt like it might be the last time. I did have a little hope that something would happen and I would end up staying there, but I was ready for it. Free agency is a big step, and I was ready for it.”

Although Johnson may have felt like the odd man out with the Rams, he was optimistic that a lucrative deal would eventually come:

“Luckily for me, I put myself in the position where I knew that I was going to land on my feet. I knew I was going to be able to make a decision and kind of have control of my destiny, but it is nerve-wracking,” he said. “You are just living in limbo for a month and a half, two months not knowing anything. I did not even know if the Rams were even talking about bringing me back. It is just a weird time not knowing what your future holds for you. Like I said, luckily for me, I was blessed enough to know I was going to land on my feet and be in a good situation. It is pretty nerve-wracking, and I am glad that it is over with.”

Johnson signed with the Cleveland Browns on a three-year, $33.75 million deal in free agency. Although the number was lower than some expected for a player of his caliber, it is a solid start to begin the next chapter of his promising career.

Johnson’s playoff experience should pay some major dividends for this Browns team that is looking to build off their recent trip to the postseason. Not only that, he will be reuniting with cornerback Troy Hill as the newest members of this revamped secondary.