The Los Angeles Rams made a bold move when they chose to place their franchise tag on Trumaine Johnson rather than Janoris Jenkins prior to the 2016 NFL season. Jenkins has since flourished with the New York Giants while Johnson’s future with the Rams remains uncertain.
After failing to trade Johnson in the offseason, it was highly unlikely that both sides were going to a reach a deal by the July 17 deadline. Now, Johnson is among the few notable names playing on lucrative one-year deals for the upcoming season, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 13, 2017
There is speculation the Rams may be reluctant to offer Johnson a long-term deal due to their uncertainty that he will fit into defensive coordinator Wade Phillips’ new system. Unfortunately, that uncertainty will be costly as he is set to receive $16.7 million next season, easily making him the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL.
It could be that the veteran cornerback’s deal was put on the back-burner in the wake of Aaron Donald’s desire for a contract extension. Donald has easily outplayed his contract and is set to make just $1.8 million with a cap hit of $3.2 million for the upcoming season. Although Johnson has proven to be a solid corner in the league, he is not considered anywhere near among the elite like Donald is.
Los Angeles will need to start investing in their key pieces at some point. Although it remains to be seen whether Johnson is a good fit, letting yet another steady corner go next season would deal a huge blow to an already thinning secondary.