The Los Angeles Rams placed the franchise tag on cornerback Trumaine Johnson on Wednesday. The move means that Johnson is slated to become the highest paid player at his position in the NFL. Johnson spent the first five seasons of his career with the Rams.
Johnson received a non-exclusive tag. This means other teams are able to negotiate a new long-term deal with him. However, if the Rams decide not to match a potential offer sheet, they receive two first-round draft picks as compensation.
The deadline to give players this designation is 4 PM ET on Wednesday.
With today's franchise tag, Rams CB Trumaine Johnson is now scheduled to be NFL's highest-paid CB at $16 million.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 1, 2017
Los Angeles Rams Place Franchise Tag on Cornerback Trumaine Johnson
The 2016 season was a bit of a drop off for Johnson following his breakout year in 2015. He played well at times, but was too inconsistent. He managed just one interception after picking the ball off seven times the previous year. In 2014, he battled an injury and only played nine games. Despite this fact, he finished with three interceptions. He also had three interceptions in 2013 which was his first year as a starter. He played in every game in 2012 as a rookie, but mostly in a reserve role or as a part of substitution packages.
At 6’2”, 208 pounds, Johnson is the prototype of what the NFL is looking for physically in the modern cornerback. He has all the physical tools needed to be a lock down corner in the NFL, and has shown that he is quite adept at making big plays. Although Johnson’s play has been a bit unpredictable at times, the Rams have certainly fared better with than without him. The Rams put the franchise tag on Johnson last season because they knew that the loss of Johnson would be very difficult for them to deal with. If Johnson can become more reliable he will be worth every penny.
The Rams drafted Johnson in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft. In his four years at FCS school Montana, he was a two-time All-American. Johnson started the majority of his games for the Grizzlies in his four years there. He was recruited out of Edison High School in Stockton, CA where he excelled in all three phases of the game.