L.A. Rams general manager Les Snead said that the re-signing of free agent cornerback Trumaine Johnson could shape the entire offseason focus.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Snead said the team faces ‘a big decision’ with Johnson’s future.
Snead added that new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips likes good players on the outside. The Rams general manager said Johnson falls into that category because of his size and ball skills.
“That’s probably one of the top priorities when Wade walks in the door because, obviously, the magnitude of what his contract will look like and the magnitude of what another franchise tag looks like and everything in between,” Snead said.
Johnson played under the franchise tag last season, so he made $13.95 million last season. This year, it would cost the Rams $16.8 million to give Johnson another franchise tender.
The 27-year-old corner ranked as the No. 26 corner among 112 qualified cornerbacks graded by Pro Football Focus in 2016. ESPN’s John Clayton ranked Johnson as the third best free agent in this year’s market.
Nonetheless, L.A. chose to tag Johnson over former teammate Janoris Jenkins a year ago. Therefore, the Rams may not want to lose their top corner for the second consecutive year.
Currently, the Rams have about $40 million in cap space as they enter next season.
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