Rams Place Franchise Tag on Johnson

Posted Mar 1, 2016

Los Angeles has placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on CB Trumaine Johnson, the team announced today.

The Rams have elected to place the non-exclusive franchise tag on cornerback Trumaine Johnson, the team announced today. By doing so, Johnson will be able to negotiate with other teams in free agency. But should he reach a deal with another franchise, that team would owe Los Angeles two first-round picks in compensation.

Selected in the third round of the 2012 draft, Johnson has appeared in 55 games (33 starts) over the last four years. Only Cincinnati’s Reggie Nelson and Kansas City’s Marcus Peters recorded more than Johnson’s seven interceptions in 2015. Plus, Johnson leads his draft class with 15 career interceptions.

With Johnson, Janoris Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, and Mark Barron all slated to become unrestricted free agents at the start of the new league year, head coach and general manager Les Snead have maintained throughout the offseason keeping the secondary together is a prime concern.

“We’ve developed them and we don’t want to develop them for anyone else,” Fisher said in January. “So, we want to be sure that we’re able to get them back. We’re confident we can do that.”

Last week at the NFL Combine, Snead called re-signing members of the secondary ‘Priority A,’ adding Los Angeles would be meeting with player representation while in Indianapolis. The GM said the discussions may run through the 48-hour window when teams may exchange figures with players from other organizations. But Snead maintained Fisher’s stance from January on the possibility of retaining those four players.

“It’s a tough task, but it’s realistic,” Snead said. “I don’t think it’s not realistic, especially considering the cap room and things like that.”

By placing the franchise tag on Johnson, the Rams have ensured that they have a strong chance to keep at least one of those players in the fold for 2016. Johnson and Los Angeles will be able to negotiate on a long-term deal until the July 15 deadline.