3 cheap safeties the Rams could sign to replace Jordan Fuller

Jordan Fuller, Los Angeles Rams
Jordan Fuller, Los Angeles Rams / Ryan Kang/GettyImages
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What was an almost certain repeat appearance for the LA Rams in 2024 has eroded in the eyes of NFL analysts and pundits. Of course, losing a player of the caliber of perennial All-Pro Aaron Donald does tend to lower expectations for the team. But the Rams are still reassembled by GM Les Snead, and still led each week into battle by HC Sean McVay.

Nobody gave this team a chance of success with Aaron Donald in 2023. I would be reluctant to lower expectations so quickly, especially when the team is only beginning to assemble the roster for 2024.

By now you have become aware that the LA Rams free agency efforts out of the gates have focused on three areas on the roster to address before the 2024 NFL Draft. Those areas are, in chronological order:

  • Offensive line
  • Secondary
  • Backup quarterback

While the front office was busily signing new players to the roster, the team was equally active in re-signing several players whose contracts had expired. The blend of returning players and new faces joining the team has made this an exciting time to monitor the Rams' free-agency transactions. But there is room to do more. Just a bit more. So who could the Rams consider next?

DB John Johnson III

The LA Rams added John Johnson III to the roster due to the youth and inexperience of the team's secondary in 2023. JJ3 is a natural communicator and leader, and his first chapter on this team was about as good of a period that any NFL player can have without earning Pro Bowl honors. It was that stellar reputation that landed him a lucrative contract to upgrade the secondary of the Cleveland Browns.

He had mixed results there.

Upon his return in 2023, he was not quite the same player as before. Because the team had upgraded the linebacker position, JJ3 did not need to make so many tackles. That freed him up to focus a bit more on pass coverage. He performed quite well in that area, allowing just 61.5 percent of passes to find their mark. He broke up six passes, and intercepted two more. While some fans may have wanted more from him, he was exactly who the defense needed him to be in 2023.

The thing is, what will the team need in 2024? The safety position does appear to be in pretty good shape in the hands of Quentin Lake, Russ Yeast, and newly signed DB Kamren Curl. Still, I would have a much better confidence in the back end of the secondary if the team extended John Johnson III. He delivers on the football field and in the locker room.

Bring him back on a short-term deal just to bridge the gap. The defense will play much better if he returns.