The Los Angeles Rams have signed veteran safety John Johnson according to multiple reports. Downtown Rams’ Jake Ellenbogen was the first to break the news. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler also confirmed the news shortly thereafter and indicated that it’s a one-year deal for Johnson.
Johnson attended Rams training camp Sunday evening and was seen having a conversation with general manager Les Snead. The veteran safety joins a defense that underwent a significant youth movement this offseason, though Johnson should pair with fourth-year safety to give LA an experienced duo on the backend of the defense.
SOURCE: #Rams are signing former Ram Safety John Johnson III today. He was taking in training camp yesterday and he now will join a young safety room of Jordan Fuller, Quentin Lake, Russ Yeast and Jason Taylor II.— JAKE ELLENBOGEN (@JKBOGEN) August 7, 2023
GOING LIVE HERE: https://t.co/L6mC5SoAs0 pic.twitter.com/YNT7w2HXZR
There’s also reason to be optimistic that the safety’s best football is ahead of him. While his play the last two years with the Cleveland Browns was not up to the standard he set for himself in Los Angeles, the Browns deployed Johnson more as a free safety after he split his time between FS and the box as a Ram. How will he be used during his second stint in LA?
Johnson used to be LA’s “green dot” guy and defensive signal caller, though that mantle is now taken up by middle linebacker Ernest Jones. Cobie Durant also has some signal calling duties as the “star” cornerback and helps set coverages in the secondary.
Quentin Lake has also impressed recently during training camp practices as a hybrid safety/linebacker—and the second-year defensive back could carve out a significant role as the third safety and rotational player behind Johnson and Fuller. Fuller and Johnson are in contract years, and if Lake impresses he could be the Rams’ future at the position. Russ Yeast and Jason Taylor are recent late-round draft picks by the team and should be important depth pieces and special teams contributors for the 2023 season.