Cornerback Trumaine Johnson signed his franchise tender on Monday, but that may not be the end of offseason intrigue concerning his future with the club.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that the Rams are talking with several other teams about a trade involving Johnson. Johnson could have negotiated with other teams in lieu of signing the tag, but anyone willing to sign him would have needed to send two first-round picks to the Rams for the right to sign Johnson away.
It’s probably fair to say that the Rams won’t be looking at that kind of return in any deal involving Johnson now that he’s signed the tender. It’s also probably fair to say that Johnson still has leverage over a possible destination as any team acquiring him would likely want to sign him to a contract that runs beyond the one-year, $16.7 million deal that came with the franchise tag.
Rams General Manager Les Snead said last week that the team views 2017 as a trial run for Johnson in the defense that new coordinator Wade Phillips will install this offseason and that any call on a long-term deal in L.A. would likely wait until they had a better idea of how everything fits on that side of the ball. A trade would obviously cut that trial run short and leave the Rams to move forward with others on the corners.