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Rams Have Been In Talks With CBs Janoris Jenkins & Trumaine Johnson For Over A Year

Rams CEO Kevin Demoff told Vincent Bonsignore of Insidesocal.com that they’ve been in talks with free agent cornerbacks Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson for some time now.

“When you get to this point in the season everybody always wants to peek into free agency, they at least want to peek into the legal tampering period and see what somebody else may be offering and where it stands,” Demoff said. “We’ve been talking to Janoris and Trumaine for over a year and we’ve been close to deals at times and we’ve been far apart on deals at times. It’s a process. I think the great part is, they both love playing for coach Fisher, they’re excited about the move to Los Angeles, they want to be part of this, and when you add in a Rodney McLeod, our starting safety, they all want to be back together and help this team breakthrough.”

Demoff added that they’re hoping to keep the core of their team intact this offseason.

All of them are homegrown, for the most part, and they believe in what we’re doing,” Demoff said. “Now, things get crazy when free agency starts, people throw money around, but we’ve always planned for this offseason having a lot of salary cap space and having a lot of cash available to make sure we can keep that core. But I also look at it as having good free agents you want to keep means that Jeff and Les and our scouts have done their job and developed this roster.”

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Dispatch mentioned Friday night that he heard earlier in the offseason that the Rams could place their transition tag on Johnson if they’re unable to get long-term deal done in the coming weeks.

The transition tag would run the Rams close to $11.7 million for the 2016 season, but give them the right of first refusal.

The Rams addressed their cap situation on Friday when they released DE Chris Long, LB James Laurinaitis, and TE Jared Cook. Los Angeles now is among the teams with the most cap space to work with at nearly $60 million.

Jenkins, 26, was taken in the second round of the 2012 draft and has one year remaining on his four-year, $4.99 million rookie contract that included $2.964 million guaranteed. He’ll make a base salary of just $660,000 for the 2015 season, so you can see that he’s in line for a substantial raise next year.

In 2015, Jenkins appeared in 15 games and recorded 64 tackles, three interceptions, a forced fumble, and 15 pass defenses for the Rams. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 26 cornerback out of 111 qualifying players.

Johnson, 26, is a former third-round pick of the Rams back in 2012. He’s played out his rookie contract and is now in position to be one of the best available cornerbacks in this year’s free agent class.

In 2015, Johnson appeared in 14 games and recorded 71 tackles, seven interceptions with one being returned for a touchdown, a fumble recovery and 17 pass defenses. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 19 cornerback out of 111 qualifying players.

We have both players featured in our Top 100 – 2016 Free Agents list.