Moving on from Johnson would be tough for Rams, but financially makes sense
As much as the Los Angeles Rams want to bring Trumaine Johnson back, moving on from the cornerback seems to be the best move from a financial standpoint.
The Los Angeles Rams shocked the football world on Friday when the news broke how the team was finalizing a deal with the Kansas City Chiefs to acquire Marcus Peters to change their entire offseason approach. Without question, bringing Peters on board is a game changer when looking at the impact the former first-round pick has made over the last three seasons by accounting for 24 turnovers, 19 of which happened to be interceptions.
Of course, the biggest factor of this surprise trade was now that Peters is coming on board, Trumaine Johnson is expected to hit the free agent market, which in a way, really isn’t all that surprising. After using the franchise tag on the cornerback each of the last two years, Los Angeles knew a third time wasn’t an option, but also it wasn’t going to be easy to keep him around due to his hefty asking price.
Even if the Rams made Johnson a deserving offer, there’s a good chance another team would have eventually offered him more money since there are already numerous teams expressing high interest in the cornerback. His numbers may not stick out like some of the other players at his position in the NFL, but Johnson has played a big role on defense for Los Angeles over the years, and if he does end up leaving in free agency, it will take some time adjusting to.
Then again, the argument can be made that Johnson was always just a short-term answer for the Rams, and their decision to use the franchise tag on him over the last two years instead of rewarding him with a hefty contract shows they needed him more than he needed the team. But now that Peters will be coming on board once the trade becomes final, Los Angeles is in a better position in which they can afford to let Johnson hit the open market.
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When considering the Rams knew there was already a chance of Johnson leaving, at least when it happens, it will be easier to accept now that Peters is part of the plan to helping the defense be in top shape for the 2018 season. Not to mention, bringing Peters on board while allowing Johnson to seek the hefty contract he’s been wanting for years in the open market will save Los Angeles a ton of money as well.