While the end to the 2016 campaign for the Los Angeles Rams didn’t leave much promise moving forward, the offseason took a 180 degree turn in their favor and provided a base to grow with. Newly appointed head coach Sean McVay has finalized his 18-member coaching staff, with a free agency market to test ahead.
During this negotiating period, McVay and the Rams have an opportunity to talk with their free agents to be, in order to ponder a possible extension or verbal agreement on re-signing. For 2016, the defense was the strong point for the Rams, with a top 10 defense for much of the season.
Going into the 2017 season, the Rams certainly need help on the offensive end, but also need to assure they keep their key pieces from the previous season. Cornerback Trumaine Johnson, who played a pivotal role in coverage schemes, enters the 2017 season in a tricky situation.
He was placed under the franchise tag last season, as the Rams elected to depart with fellow defensive player Janoris Jenkins in favor Johnson. Now that the season is over, it seems the Rams were faced with another decision regarding Johnson’s impending free agency. However, the Rams have once again rolled the dice on Johnson and are expected to give him another franchise tag, via ESPN’s Dan Graziano:
Source says Rams are expected to use the franchise tag on CB Trumaine Johnson for the second year in a row. Would cost $16.7424M.
— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) February 27, 2017
The 27-year-old appeared and started in 14 games last season, missing two games due to an ankle injury. In those contests, he accumulated 47 tackles (10 assists), with one interception, one fumble recovery and 11 passes defended.
His ability to pair up one-on-one against opposing receivers allows the defense to effectively consider the running game and plan for opposing receivers.
Rumors during the initial phase of the offseason indicated that the Rams would not be re-signing Johnson, at least to a long-term deal. By placing the franchise tag on Johnson, they will know be paying him roughly $16.742 million next season, upon making $13.952 million last season.