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Free Agent Spotlight: John Johnson III brought veteran experience and production in second stint with Rams

The Rams had some experience at safety, but the amount of youth at that position still left them exploring a veteran addition toward the end of training camp.

Sure enough, Los Angeles went that direction and signed a familiar face in John Johnson III just before the start of the regular season.

Johnson did not have OTAs – or a training camp, for that matter – so he had to get ramped up before taking on a meaningful role. But once he got to that point, he was a valuable presence within a young Rams secondary last season.

Now, Johnson is a pending unrestricted free agent heading into the start of the new league year on March 13.

After taking over as a starter in Week 12, Johnson recorded 36 of his 42 total tackles, both of his interceptions and five of his six passes defensed. One of those picks was a key interception against the Crowns in Week 13, the other against the Washington Commanders in Week 15. He was an experienced and productive piece to L.A.'s secondary, and he also has familiarity with Rams defensive coordinator Chris Shula.

Similar to the situation with Jordan Fuller, the Rams have Quentin Lake and Russ Yeast as internal candidates to potentially replace Johnson should both sides go in a different direction. Barring a philosophical shift, history would suggest the external path being the draft instead of free agency for finding a replacement for Johnson.

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