The Los Angeles Rams have used the non-exclusive franchise tag on CB Trumaine Johnson according to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora:
Trumaine Johnson received the non-exclusive franchise tag. So Janoris Jenkins set to hit open market— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 1, 2016
The move ensures Johnson will remain a Ram through the 2016 season for just less than $14m. A year from now, the Rams will need to provide him another contract or allow him to enter free agency.
The non-exclusive portion of the tag applies if another team signs him. It allows teams to negotiate with Tru, but the Rams have the right of first refusal. If they decide not to match the offer, the Rams would be awarded two first round picks. So yeah, it's not gonna happen.
This is the first time the Rams have used a tag to keep a player on a one-year retainer since O.J. Atogwe in 2009.
There are a couple of different ways to read this. On one hand, it suggests they may have either had difficulty or uncertainty about giving Tru a long-term deal. On the other, it means that teammate and fellow CB Janoris Jenkins is likely headed into free agency with a new agent and some initial disdain for a five-year, $45m offer from the Rams he turned down before firing his old agent.
The tag at least provides some certainty heading into free agency beginning on March 9 with the "legal tampering" period beginning March 7.