The Los Angeles Rams and Trumaine Johnson will not reach agreement on a long-term contract by the July 17 deadline, a source told ESPN, meaning the cornerback will play under the franchise tender for the second straight season.
Johnson signed his franchise tender with the Rams on March 6, guaranteeing himself a 2017 salary of $16.742 million that will make him the NFL's highest-paid cornerback.
Johnson, a third-round pick out of Montana in 2012, is the first cornerback to be tagged in back-to-back years since Charles Woodson in 2004 and '05. Johnson made $13.952 million when he was tagged in 2016.
A week ago, CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reported there was a “0 percent” chance of a long-term deal for Tru. Schefter’s report seemingly confirms La Canfora’s story.
Johnson’s contract discussions have been a strange saga. Since he was tagged in the beginning of March, which he signed shortly thereafter, we were immediately treated to reports of possible trade talks. We then heard in late April that the New Orleans Saints had surfaced as a trade partner offering a second-round pick for Johnson.
Our Sean Wilkinson has suggested the inability to either work out a long-term deal with Johnson or to move on exposes an ineptitude from the front office that is impossible to separate from the decision to tag Johnson in 2016 as well allowing Janoris Jenkins to head to the New York Giants in free agency and supply them a Pro Bowl-caliber season last year, a move that our Sosa Kremenjas criticized at the time.
As it stands, Trumaine Johnson is set to be the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL on a one-year deal with the Rams for better or worse.