How can the Rams survive on this disappointing trend Les Snead has them on?
It’s not over until it’s over. But ESPN is now reporting that it’s over for the Rams and their best cornerback.
Trumaine Johnson and the Los Angeles Rams are not expected to get a long-term deal done by the July 17 deadline. Johnson is expected to play under the franchise tag, again, and hit the market come March.
Is anyone surprised by this?
The spin-zone might be churning out the usual, “If the Rams wanted this done, they would have had this finished by now, so maybe the Rams just didn’t want Johnson.” Yes, I can see your point. Maybe Los Angeles just didn’t want the best cornerback on their team and would rather look towards the future with the deep talent pool that is their secondary.
Or maybe General Manager Les Snead is not very good at his job, and the front office bumbled the whole thing. It’s not that far-fetched of a conclusion to jump to based on the timeline.
The Rams chose to franchise tag Trumaine Johnson instead of Janoris Jenkins. The hope was they could keep both corners. They would shelve Johnson, work out a long-term deal with Jenkins and then come back to Johnson. But Jenkins walked away from deliberations, frustrated with a suspected low offer, and signed with the New York Giants.
Like Jenkins, Johnson and the team negotiated throughout the year and when they were unable to agree, they tagged Johnson again. Then, they tried to trade him. Unable to do even that, they announced they were committed to signing him long-term. Now, it’s being reported they may not be as committed as they originally led us to believe.
For example, they dropped Johnson like a bag of potatoes to work on a long-term deal with Aaron Donald. It may not seem like that stupid of a move, until you realize Donald still has two years left on his contract. Johnson has weeks until the deadline, and after that, he will play 2017 as the highest-paid cornerback.
Then, he’s most definitely going to hit the open market and get out of Los Angeles, as he should. Unless of course, Snead pulls an unprecedented third franchise tag out on Johnson. Anything could happen at this point. The Rams front office has shown they are not afraid to beat a dead horse for as long as possible.
It’s hard to digest the moves of this front office. They have no problem recommitting themselves and their finances to Tavon Austin, who has been mediocre at-best. Yet, when it comes to players who have shown they are worth their weight, that’s when Snead and company cannot manage to pay for their services.
Set aside the arguments on why Austin’s played pedestrian, the Rams have told everyone they are willing to invest in average than proven talent. Jenkins is just one example. Rodney McLeod as a good free safety, and he continues to show that in Philadelphia. Jenkins is showing that in New York. Johnson will show his worth in another uniform next year, too, once the deadline passes and no deal is reached.
If this is the trend Snead operates on, what do you think we should expect at the end of the Aaron Donald negotiations?