Two years after he left the LA Rams for $72 million, and three years after his second year as the Rams franchise tagged player, cornerback Trumaine Johnson has signed with the Carolina Panthers to become a member of their practice squad. Because of new rules allowing veterans to be signed as practice squad members during the pandemic, Johnson’s been able to find a temporary home as he awaits another chance to make a 53-man roster.
Former Jets’ CB Trumaine Johnson is signing with the Carolina Panthers’ practice squad, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 19, 2020
Johnson, a third round pick in 2012, recorded 15 interceptions in his first four seasons with the team and received the franchise tag after posting seven picks in 2015. Johnson would receive the franchise tag again in 2016 but didn’t fit the Rams plans as a long-term option at cornerback under new head coach Sean McVay and defensive coordinator Wade Philllips.
The New York Jets loved the fact that there was a 28-year-old first time free agent out there who might underwhelm after signing, so they gave him a five-year, $72.5 million contract. Johnson ended up starting 15 games in two years, recording five interceptions but getting released in March.
Johnson earned $34 million for his two years of service with the Jets. He made over $30 million in his final two years with the Rams. That’s essentially $64 million over four years and unfortunately his prowess for the turnover never returned: after seven interceptions in 2015, Johnson has recorded only eight in his last four years combined.
The Carolina Panthers started rookie fourth round pick Troy Pride Jr and third-year veteran Donte Jackson, who has struggled thus far in his career, at cornerback in Week 1. They also have Corn Elder and Rasul Douglas, who was recently released by the Eagles. It seems like Johnson could make his way back to a 53-man roster soon.
If it’s for the Panthers, the Rams won’t be facing him this season.