Johnson stated Tuesday that he is open to a contract extension with the Rams, Rams insider Myles Simmons reports. The Rams shopped Johnson after he signed a $16.74 million franchise tender last month but failed to gain any traction. As a result, he and the team have renewed talks over a long-term contract, which needs to be settled prior to the July 15 deadline for franchise players. Regardless, the 27-year-old appears on track to take the field in a Rams uniform for the 2017 season.
Johnson is not expected to be traded by the Rams, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports. Johnson signed his $16.74 million franchise tender last month, not only making him the NFL's highest-paid cornerback, but enabling the Rams to shop him in hopes of a trade this offseason. After failing to find a suitable deal, Los Angeles and Johnson are now set to stage talks over a long-term contract prior to the July 15 deadline for franchise players. Although he's spent his entire five-year career with the Rams, Johnson may want to steer clear of an extension in order to become an unrestricted free agent next offseason. Regardless, it appears Johnson will remain with the Rams in 2017, which should help the team's transition into new coordinator Wade Phillips' defense.
Johnson was shopped around the league this offseason, but the Rams may still sign him to a long-term extension before the July 15 deadline, ESPN.com's Alden Gonzalez reports. After using the franchise tag on Johnson for a second straight year, the Rams surveyed other teams to see what he might fetch in a trade. Apparently unable to find a deal to its liking, the team resumed discussions about a long-term extension but was unable to agree on terms with its top cornerback prior to the start of the offseason program last week. The two sides are expected to shelve discussions until the program is complete, which still allows plenty of time before the July 15 extension deadline for franchise-tagged players. An extension likely would lower Johnson's $16.74 million cap hit for the upcoming season. Should he ultimately play under the tag for a second straight year, Johnson would hit free agency as a 28-year-old standout at a high-value position, having already collected $30 million (via franchise tag salaries) over the previous two seasons. He thus has little incentive to accept any kind of discount in exchange for long-term security.
Johnson signed his franchise tender from the Rams on Monday, Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times reports. For the second offseason in a row, the Rams have extended the franchise tag to Johnson, entitling the cornerback to 120 percent of his 2016 salary. The cap hit equates to $16.74 million for a player that has recorded eight interceptions among 28 passes defended over the last two campaigns. As the most accomplished defensive back on the Rams' roster, Johnson will be working under new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, who most recently conjured a hard-hitting Broncos secondary led by Aqib Talib, T.J. Ward, and Darian Stewart.
The Rams have placed their franchise tag on Johnson, the Los Angeles Times reports. Per NFL.com, the tag will make Johnson -- who was also franchised by the Rams last season -- the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL, with his contract tender in line to be in the neighborhood of $16.74 million. The 27-year-old is coming off a 2016 campaign in which he recorded 57 tackles and a pick in 14 games. Over the course of 14 contests in 2015, Johnson logged seven interceptions.