Trumaine Johnson is the Los Angeles Rams’ best player in the defensive secondary - that much is a fact. What’s still up for debate among Rams executives however, is Tru’s value to the team.
After completely bungling last year’s ‘Priority A’ by failing to sign anyone to a long-term extension (more on that in a second), they look to be making the same mistake a this year:
The Rams probably won't revisit extension talks with Trumaine Johnson until after OTAs. More here ... https://t.co/cd2Ypxp6rv— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) March 2, 2017
The reason this is so frustrating is because it’s pretty much the Rams repeating the exact same mistake a year later. GM Les Snead can roll out all of the excuses he wants, but the fact of the matter is that he has royally fucked this sutuation up.
Humor me here as I walk you through some numbers....
At face value, it’s easy to balk at Janoris Jenkins’ $62M contract with the New York Giants. But when you contrast his average annual value of $12.5M with what the Rams are paying Tru (roughly $31M over two franchise tags) it seems much more palatable...
Consider who the Rams used their cap space on in 2016. Tavon Austin got a massive extension and will get paid $15M in 2017. His highest receiving yardage total is 509 yards. Mark Barron doesn’t have a position, yet he will be making $11M this coming season. The Rams are committing $26M to those two players in 2017. Their combined salary last season was $14M. Both of those numbers are well below Jenkins’ cap hits.
Why do I bring this up? Because the Rams are blatantly refusing to learn from those mistakes.
CB is essential in Wade Phillips defensive scheme. That’s part of the reason that the Rams are tagging Tru again, but it’s not a good sign that they had to.
In 2016 it was a matter of assuring one of the stud CBs stuck around as a way to sign the other to a long term contract. I didn’t agree with the tactic, but I understood it. Not only did they fail to get anyone under long term contract, they’re repeating history now.
Don’t get me wrong. I think Tru is a good corner. But there is no way in hell that he’s the best corner in the NFL.
Same with Tavon. He’s a hell of a playmaker, but he shouldn’t have the third highest cap hit among WRs in the NFL in 2017.
Shelving contract talks until after OTAs is dumb. Hell, not getting something done prior to the tag deadline was idiotic. I still find it mind boggling that they didn’t get something done last year.
But if any of this is true, this isn’t going to change anytime soon.