Two former Rams coaches told Cole that they agreed at the Combine last year to franchise Jenkins. However, the front office reportedly disagreed and instead used the designation on CB Trumaine Johnson.
Multiple league executives have told Cole that they expect Johnson to be allowed to leave as a free agent or could struggle “severely” in Wade Phillips‘ defense.
This isn’t the first we’ve heard that Johnson could be allowed to meet with other teams in free agency.
Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports mentioned previously that he has heard from sources for a while now that the Rams could allow some players preferred by former HC Jeff Fisher such as Johnson and WR Kenny Britt to test the open market in the coming months.
However, Robinson is curious to see if new coaching staff comprised of Sean McVay and Phillips will stick with this or possibly shift gears to retaining some of them.
Johnson is arguably the Rams’ best cornerback and is in line to be one best available free agents in this year’s market.
Johnson, 27, is a former third-round pick of the Rams back in 2012. He played out his rookie contract with the Rams before being franchised back in February and made $13.952 million fully guaranteed under the tag.
In 2016, Johnson appeared in 14 games for the Rams and recorded 58 total tackles, one interception, one fumble recovery, and 12 pass defenses. Pro Football Focus rated him as the No. 28 overall cornerback out of 120 qualifying players.
We have him featured in our Top 100 – 2017 Free Agents list.