We’re roughly 24 hours away from the deadline for teams to sign their franchise-tagged players to long-term deals. Often times, the deadline can spur action, but that apparently won’t be the case for the Rams and cornerback Trumaine Johnson. A long-term deal is not expected to materialize between the two sides, according to Mike Florio of PFT (on Twitter), meaning that Johnson will be scheduled to play out the 2016 season on his tender before hitting the open market.
This year, Johnson will earn a healthy $13.9MM salary. After the 2016 season, the Rams could theoretically use the franchise tag on Johnson for a second time for roughly $16.68MM. But, unless Johnson has a truly spectacular season, it’s hard to see Los Angeles re-upping him at that price.
Johnson, 26, had just 20 career starts on his NFL résumé prior to 2015, but he established himself as a reliable starting cornerback last season, picking up 71 tackles, seven interceptions, and 17 passes defended, grading out as the No. 17 CB in the league, according to Pro Football Focus.
The Rams obviously think highly of Johnson since they used the franchise tag on him rather than former teammate Janoris Jenkins. This offseason, Jenkins moved on from the Rams to ink a five-year, $62.5MM deal with the Giants including $29MM in fully guaranteed money. Of course, after seeing Jenkins net that kind of deal on the open market, Johnson was hoping for at least that much in a multi-year deal with the Rams.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.