Nick Scott left the Rams in free agency, signing with the Bengals. Taylor Rapp has drawn interest from the Bengals and Patriots so he could also be on the verge of leaving Los Angeles.
If so, the Rams will be left with Jordan Fuller, Russ Yeast and Quentin Lake as their top three safeties. It’s not exactly the most experienced or proven group around. However, the Rams could quickly improve their safety group by bringing back John Johnson III, who was released by the Browns this offseason.
Johnson spent four years with the Rams before leaving in free agency in 2021, spending the last two years in Cleveland. Now a free agent again, Johnson could be just what the Rams need: a talented safety who’s familiar with the team and can cover the deep part of the field.
ESPN’s Bill Barnwell picked his best fits for the remaining unsigned players in free agency and he could see a reunion between the Rams and Johnson, picking Los Angeles as the best landing spot for the veteran safety.
Possible deal: Two years, $8 million with the Rams. General manager Les Snead & Co. have been stripping the roster bare over the past few weeks in hopes of resetting their cap sheet and getting younger before trying to compete again in 2024. As Mike Clay noted on Twitter, their defensive depth chart is virtually unrecognizable beyond Aaron Donald and Ernest Jones. On paper, they look like an expansion defense with one Hall of Famer thrown into the mix.
Barnwell notes that the Rams aren’t going to spend big this free agency period, but Johnson won’t be a player who costs them a ton. He’s only 27 years old, but he’s coming off arguably the worst year of his career, missing 17 tackles in Cleveland.
Not that tackling isn’t important, but the Rams would need him more for his coverage ability, which was top-notch when he was in Los Angeles. Even last year, he only allowed a completion rate of 57.9% and gave up one touchdown.
He would be a perfect addition to the Rams secondary after two years apart.