Johnson finished the 2017 campaign with 65 tackles (57 solo) and two interceptions, and he's set to become an unrestricted free agent during the offseason. The veteran has played the past two years under the franchise tag, and his 2017 salary ($16.7 million) was the highest of any cornerback in the league. Johnson had another solid season for the Rams and wants to return to the club next year, Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times reports. However, his fantasy outlook will remain in limbo until he inks a new deal, and there is no guarantee the Rams can match his financial demands.
Johnson (stinger) is not listed on the injury report ahead of Week 15's matchup against the Seahawks, Lindsey Thiry of the Los Angeles Times reports. With the Rams already having lost fellow cornerback Kayvon Webster (Achilles) for the year, having Johnson back against Seattle will be a huge boost for the Rams' secondary. The cornerback has one forced fumble, two interceptions and 13 passes defended on the year heading into Week 15.
Johnson (leg) was not listed on the team's non-practice injury report Monday, Rich Hammond of the Los Angeles Daily News reports. Although the team didn't practice, it's encouraging to see Johnson avoid the report. We'll see if he practice later this week, but things seem to be trending in the right direction for a return to action.
Johnson recorded two tackles, returned an interception 39 yards for a touchdown and forced a fumble that he also recovered during Sunday's win over Indianapolis. Johnson set the tone early with his pick-six, and then he curbed another Indianapolis drive by stripping the ball from T.Y. Hilton and recovering the fumble. Now in his sixth season, Johnson has emerged as one of the best shut-down corners in the league. But unfortunately, that will likely limit his fantasy upside, as opposing offenses look to avoid him and target softer down-field matchups. As a result, Johnson will probably have difficulty posting anything better than serviceable fantasy numbers most weeks.
Johnson and the Rams failed to reach an agreement on a long-term contract prior to Monday's 4:00 p.m. EDT deadline, meaning he'll play this season under the franchise tag, Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com reports. Now under the franchise tag for the second straight season, Johnson will earn $16.7 million in 2017, the most of any cornerback in the NFL. Given that hefty price tag, the Rams were fighting an uphill battle to secure Johnson with a more team-friendly long-term deal. It remains to be seen how well Johnson will fit in to new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips' man-heavy coverage scheme, but he'll likely be tasked with shadowing the opponents' top receiver more often than not. With a potential windfall looming in free agency next spring, Johnson will enter the upcoming season aiming to improve on his averages of 64 tackles, 14 pass defensed and four interceptions over the past two campaigns.