The Los Angeles Rams announced on Tuesday that they agreed to terms with former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Houston Texans wide receiver Tyler Johnson in free agency.
Johnson is the first free agent the Rams have signed this offseason after choosing to stand pat for most of it.
Originally a fifth-round pick by the Buccaneers back in the 2020 NFL Draft, Johnson has played sparingly during his professional career. In two seasons with Tampa Bay, the wideout recorded 48 receptions for 529 yards and two touchdowns in 31 appearances. However, he was later waived and picked up by the Houston Texans where he appeared in two games with them during the 2022 season before being released.
Johnson wound up back with the Buccaneers, this time on their practice squad where he spent the remainder of the year. The 24-year-old had a brief stint with the Las Vegas Raiders earlier in the offseason when he signed a futures contract, but was released a couple of weeks ago.
Johnson had a solid collegiate career at the University of Minnesota as his 213 receptions are second-most in the program’s history while his 3,305 receiving yards and 33 touchdowns are the most by a player at the position. His final two seasons landed him on teams’ radars during the draft process as he recorded back-to-back 1,000-plus yard receiving campaigns.
It’s a low-risk signing for the Rams, who don’t have much experience at the position aside from Cooper Kupp and Van Jefferson. Tutu Atwell and Ben Skowronek have gotten some reps under their belts after the team’s dismal 2022 season, but Sean McVay would probably prefer some more NFL experience in the receiver room.
Johnson will have a chance to earn a roster spot in the coming months, and he’s got a decent shot as Los Angeles is currently in the middle of a remodel. He might not be a noteworthy name and could very easily get cut during training camp, but the Rams need to try and find productive players on cheap deals as they transition into their next era of football.
Puka Nacua believes his physicality separates him from other receivers
Another interesting name to monitor during training camp and the preseason is Puka Nacua whom Los Angeles selected in the fifth round of the 2023 NFL Draft. Nacua’s got a big frame and is always looking to initiate contact, two traits that the young the receiver believes separates himself from others at the position.