The Los Angeles Rams have been busy this offseason getting new faces acquainted with the organization. As they continue to explore their options with the 2017 NFL Draft and free agency, they must also be conscious of the impending future regarding Aaron Donald and Trumaine Johnson.
The monster deals recently signed by Kawann Short and Desmond Trufant have helped shape the market for both Donald and Johnson. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Short’s lucrative signing will make him among the highest-paid at his position.
Big deal: Panthers signed franchise DT Kawann Short to a 5-year, $80 million contract, per sources. Beat July deadline, no holdout.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 17, 2017
The Rams exercised Donald’s fifth-year option earlier this offseason which will pay him just under $7 million this year. However, it is still considerably less than that of other players at the same position. The fact that their resume pales in comparison to what Donald has accomplished in just three years means the All-Pro will deservedly look to be one of the highest-paid players on defense come next offseason.
That leaves Johnson’s contract negotiations in a bit of a rough spot. Los Angeles did not do themselves any favors by slapping a consecutive franchise tag and making him one of the most expensive corners in the league. In terms of salary, Johnson has underperformed, but the last thing the Rams want is to watch yet another prized member of their secondary walk in free agency.
As if that was not challenging enough, Donald and Johnson are just two of a slew of defensive players set to become free agents next offseason. Los Angeles will need to tread carefully over the next year as they prepare to keep their defense intact.