One of the biggest names in free agency this offseason was Los Angeles Rams safety John Johnson III. After the team decided not to tag him last week it was almost a given that he would be gone and on his way out of Los Angeles. According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, Johnson III has signed with the Cleveland Browns.
#Browns deal for S John Johnson: Three years, $33.75 million with $24 million guaranteed, source says. Former third-rounder cashes in.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 15, 2021
According to Garafolo, it is a three-year deal that is worth up to $33.75M and has $24M guaranteed. That is an average salary of $11.25M/year. That number seems low as some were expecting his market value to be upwards of around $14M. It’s curious to wonder what the Rams set their cap on Johnson III to or if they intended on re-signing him at all. The $11.25M is right around where the franchise tag would have been.
With that said, Cleveland is one of the best options that the Rams could have hoped for. Johnson III stays out of the NFC and better off out of the division. He also is out of Los Angeles. The Browns are a young up-and-coming team that were close to upsetting the Kansas City Chiefs last season in the playoffs.
Johnson III joins a promising defense with the likes of Myles Garrett. The former Rams safety will look to be a piece that helps get the Browns over the top.
As a third round selection, Johnson III turned out to be a very solid player and helped the Rams win the NFC Championship game with an interception of Drew Brees in overtime. The Rams arguably don’t make the Super Bowl without him.
Johnson III went to Instagram to post his goodbyes to the Rams and Rams Nation.
Los Angeles Rams … Ramily. You welcomes a 21-year old young man with open arms … I thought it was hard to leave the city while I was a Ram; even more difficult now. This isn’t goodbye. It’s see you later. I’ll always have a special place in my heart for all of the fans and for the city as a while … If I see ya’ll on the schedule…don’t think it’s sweet.
Johnson III doesn’t seem to be bitter and it’s clear that Los Angeles had an impact on him. The Rams will look to replace him with someone currently on the roster. They could also look in free agency or in the draft.