The Los Angeles Rams defense got a much-needed boost when they came to terms on a one-year deal with safety John Johnson III.
The Rams originally selected Johnson in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft and he immediately became one of the best players in their secondary. Johnson’s strong play in Los Angeles eventually led to a three-year, $33.5 million deal with the Cleveland Browns.
The safety started 29 games for the Browns across two seasons, totaling 142 tackles, four interceptions, nine passes defensed and three forced fumbles. While those are solid numbers, Cleveland decided to release Johnson this past offseason, paving the way for him to reunite with Los Angeles.
Shortly after rejoining the team, Johnson discussed his tenure with the Browns.
“I still feel like I put some good stuff on tape. Obviously, I didn’t meet my expectations. Obviously, I didn’t meet the other organization’s expectations, but it puts a chip on your shoulder and show that you can still go. I’m young. I feel like I’m in my prime. I just need a place and an opportunity to do it and I’m just blessed that I have one.”
Although Johnson might consider his time with the Browns a disappointment, he has plenty left in the tank given his age. At 27 years old, Johnson’s got at least a few more years left in his career and there’s reason to believe that he can bounce back with the Rams.
Outside of Jordan Fuller, Los Angeles’ safeties don’t have much experience. Russ Yeast and Quentin Lake are intriguing prospects who can contribute right away, but Johnson feels like a good bet to win one of the starting roles.
Johnson may have turned in some relatively quiet seasons with the Browns, but his presence on the Rams defense should provide some stability. Raheem Morris may still end up leaning on more young players than he would like, but having a veteran like Johnson should give him some relief.
Sean McVay throwing double and triple teams at Aaron Donald
Even with Johnson back in the fold, Aaron Donald’s still going to have his work cut out for him as Los Angeles still lacks talented pass rushers.
Without much help coming from the edge, Donald is going to face multiple blockers on passing situations. However, Sean McVay is ready for that and is preparing his star by throwing double and triple teams at him constantly during training camp.