According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Los Angeles Rams might consider trading cornerback Trumaine Johnson, whom they placed the franchise tag.
The news is somewhat surprising in that the Rams would seem to lack depth at the position without Johnson, 27, who became the first corner to be franchised in back to back seasons since 2005 (Charles Woodson).
The Rams allowed Janoris Jenkins to walk in free agency last offseason, and the remaining options on the roster come with question marks. E.J. Gaines has starter potential but has been beset by injuries. Slot corner Lamarcus Joyner has been up and down. After that, it’s Troy Hill, Mike Jordan and Blake Countess, who have yet to show starter potential.
The 6-2, 206-pound Johnson had only one interception last season but has 16 in his five years in the NFL, including seven in 2015. But he also has missed 11 games over the past three seasons.
Several teams likely would be interested if Johnson was available, including the Tennessee Titans, Cleveland Browns, Philadelphia Eagles and others. Rams GM Les Snead said the team’s philosophy remains to “draft first and develop from within,” but the team is short of picks — with no first-rounder — following the Jared Goff deal a year ago. The offensive line would appear to be an area the Rams would need to upgrade, but the lack of depth on coordinator Wade Phillips’ defense also is worrisome.
Johnson signed his one-year franchise tender of $16.742 million in 2017 with the Rams on Monday. As it stands, he’d be the league’s highest-paid corner, but Johnson can still negotiate a new long-term deal until the deadline of July 15.
Johnson told the Rams team website that he’s excited to be “back with my brothers, my teammates, again. I’m glad that I get to come back and play with these guys another season, and I’m excited to be back.”
Now there’s some doubt about that.
More NFL free agency coverage from Yahoo Sports:
• Ranking the most interesting teams to watch in free agency, from 32 to 1
• The top 20 available free agents
• A list of the the franchise-tagged players
• Some interesting possibilities at quarterback for a change
• An all-time great running back leads top skill-position players
• Top 25 defensive players, led by a mountain of a defensive end
• A couple of guards lead a thin offensive line group
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