Why John Johnson III has likely played his last game for the LA Rams

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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As the LA Rams ended their attempt to win in the NFC Divisional Round and walked off of Lambeau Field, it hit. The Rams had just suffered a 32-18 loss to the Green Bay Packers which punched their tickets to host the National Football Conference Championship game. The Rams were sent home as their season came to an abrupt end.

Now it is time for the Rams to make decisions on upcoming free agents.  Some contracts for players have expired. Now, it’s up to the front office and coaching staff to determine who they want to bring back and who they will let walk in free agency.

Free safety John Johnson III is one of 17 impending free agents the Rams have to make a decision on this offseason. Johnson, who is a former third-round pick from the 2017 NFL Draft (91st overall in 2017) has been a starter for the Rams defensive unit since his rookie season and arguably one of their best players on the team.   However, he not expected to be back with the team next season. Why? Here are three reasons why Johnson III will not be back with the Rams in 2021:

Reason I – Lack of cap space:

DB John Johnson III is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2020 season, which means he can sign freely with another team. Not only can he do so, but the Rams cannot officially counter offer. With the NFL Salary cap projected to be between $175-180 Million for the 2021 season, the Rams are in cap space hell.

Read. LA Rams: 15 best free agent acquisitions of all-time. light

For now, the Rams are projected to be OVER the cap by $27 Million. Of course, that can change as some reports indicated an upward estimation for 2021.  Even with a revision, the Rams will most likely have no room to sign any free agents. let alone Johnson. After the spectacular season he played, he will be looking to be paid top dollar. Johnson has enjoyed his time playing in Los Angeles, but anything is possible on the open market. If the team wants to bring him back, they will have to move some money around, and a lot of it if they want to keep their guy.