Former LA Rams DB John Johnson III questions OBJ fit in offense

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By the end of the 2020 NFL season, defensive back John Johnson III had a pretty clear understanding of his future. He knew that he was a standout player in the LA Rams defense. He knew that his four-year rookie contract expired that year. However, he knew that the Rams seldom paid top dollar for a defensive back who played the safety position.

He watched as the LA Rams front office selected two defensive backs, both safeties,  to add to the Rams roster in 2020. That was on top of a roster that already had a returning 2019 rookie safety, Taylor Rapp. The front office was adding depth to his position.  The signs were everywhere.

John Johnson III ended the 2020 NFL season knowing that he would not be back.

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Both he and teammate Troy Hill eventually signed on to the Cleveland Browns, two additions added to their roster to help them ground the Kansas City Chiefs aerial assault.  While he was struggling at first, he has certainly become a key component to the Browns secondary in recent weeks.  In fact, the Browns have surrendered just 14, 15, and 16 points respectively in the past three games.

There is no question that John Johnson III was a fan favorite. He was a solid tactician, able to read, interpret, and counter what the opposing offenses intended on each play. Meanwhile, he directed the team’s defense to become the best in the NFL, while still performing at nearly an elite level himself.

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Of course, there is only so much money to go around, and the Rams decided to extend outside linebacker Leonard Floyd, rather than attempt to re-sign JJ III. Some fans are still disappointed in the team for making that decision. But John Johson III gets it. This is a business. To get the value that he felt he was worth, he had to be willing to play for the Cleveland Browns to get it. So that is exactly what he did.