Gonzalez mentions that while Los Angeles isn’t ruling out a trade involving Johnson, they plan to see how things play out during offseason workouts and then consider the possibility of opening extension talks before the July 15 deadline to negotiate with franchise players.
If the Rams are able to sign Johnson to a new contract, they could free up some cap space by lowering his 2017 cap figure. Gonzalez points out that they could some of their cap savings to negotiate new deals for LB Alec Ogletree, S Maurice Alexander and S Lamarcus Joyner and DT Aaron Donald.
A month ago, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media previously reported that the Rams were still in talks with teams around the league about a potential Johnson trade. However, there hasn’t been any recent buzz about Johnson.
The Browns came up as a potential landing spot for Johnson, but Mary Kay Cabot later mentioned that Cleveland isn’t in the mix for Johnson.
Johnson officially signed his franchise tender worth around $16.8 million fully guaranteed for the 2017 season. Although, this won’t prevent them from negotiating a long-term contract before the July deadline or trading him to another team.
Because Johnson receives a 20 percent increase on top of the franchise tag figure, he’s now the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL.
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.
According to OverTheCap.com, trading Johnson would free up $16.8 million of available cap space while creating no dead money.
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’ll have more regarding a new deal for Johnson as the news is available.