Alden Gonzalez of ESPN previously predicted that the Rams could use the franchise tag on Johnson for the second time if they cannot sign him to an extension. Although, Gonzalez admits the $16.8 million tag price for Johnson could be too expensive for Los Angeles.
A few weeks ago, Cole reported that multiple league executives expect Johnson to be allowed to leave as a free agent or could struggle “severely” in Wade Phillips‘ defense.
However, others have downplayed the notion that Johnson may not be a good fit in Phillips’ defense and said instead that they felt just the opposite about him working with Phillips.
Johnson is the Rams’ best cornerback and is in line to be one best available free agents this year, so he should command an impressive contract if Los Angeles allows him to reach the open 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.