3 reasons why LA Rams must sign S John Johnson III in 2023

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Reason III: The Rams secondary needs veteran leadership

The LA Rams rumors suggest that the team is not only fielding inquiries over trading veteran defensive back Jalen Ramsey, but it's almost a foregone conclusion that this team is in serious negotiations to do so, and will likely have a trade hammered out during or shortly after the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine.

That leaves a gaping hole in the Rams defensive secondary in terms of veteran leadership. If the LA Rams believe that the defense must shed Ramsey's high cost price tag, surely someone in the building is countering that notion with the assertion that a group of young defensive backs need a veteran player to lean on, to approach, to guide and mentor them. And that person could be John Johnson III.

Even if the Rams front office wishes to hedge their bets and sign Johnson to a one-year prove-it contract, I believe that the risk is warranted. Johnson's value has been diminished, and his reputation has been significantly tarnished with his play for the Cleveland Browns. Sometimes it happens. A player who is ideally suited in one defensive scheme may not be suited for another defensive scheme. When that happens, the player is often a cap casualty, as their contractual terms have paid them for a level of production that they had accomplished in the past that they were unable to achieve in the present.

But that opens a new opportunity for the LA Rams. The team's roster, in order to balance out the heavy financial pressure of carrying so many elite players, but shift heavily into rookie contracts for even more of their roster spots to balance the roster. While that means younger players, it also means a greater need for veterans willing to mentor the lot. Even if Johnson does not work out on the football field, I believe his role in the locker room alone justifies signing him to the Rams roster.