So many players would love to be in Trumaine Johnson’s shoes right about now. Despite being a zero-time pro bowler, the cornerback stands to become one of the highest paid NFL players in the league. Considering the way events are conspiring to elevate his price tag, the online betting lines for 2017 NFL season look like they might take an interesting turn.
The NFL rules are pretty strict. Any teams looking to extend the contracts of franchise-tagged players have until the 17th of July to act. And it looks like anyone who expected the Los Angeles Rams to reach some sort of last-ditch contract extension agreement with Johnson will be disappointed.
There was good reason to be hopeful but every source in the Rams has pretty much discarded the idea of such an outcome. And that can only work in the favor of Johnson because, by 2018, he will be a free agent. That will set him up to become one of those highly pursued defensive players on the open market that drops jaws with the salary he will command
Once the July 17th deadline passes, it is no longer possible for negotiations with tagged players to proceed, at least not until the season comes to an end. And at this point, it is better to turn one’s attention to Kirk Cousins and Le’Veon Bell of the Washington Redskins and the Pittsburgh Steelers because those two seem determined to get their contract extensions.
The $16 Million Johnson is currently guaranteed for this season is the result of his second straight franchise tag; anyone that knows football and the NFL can tell just how rare such an occurrence is.
In signing a third straight tag, Johnson stands to witness his salary rise by a whopping 144 percent in 2018. That will allow the amounts he is earning to compete with those of the highest paid quarterbacks in the NFL which boggles the mind.
And it isn’t like Johnson was struggling for money, to begin with. The $16 Million he will take from the 2017 season elevates him above the base salary of every other NFL cornerback. Of course, this outcome is hardly unexpected.
After all, the NFL has taken to producing some truly amazing contracts as of late. Everyone agrees that the highest tier players are earning mind boggling amounts of money and Johnson is about to join their ranks.
One can understand why negotiations with the Rams failed to deliver a positive result. After all, Johnson has the capacity to command one of the highest salaries in the NFL for any cornerback. And that wouldn’t be a problem if Johnson was a top tier player. But the athlete has never even had a Pro Bowl nod in his career.
By all logic, he shouldn’t be able to garner such lucrative tags. However, Johnson is fortunate in that the market tends to drive the direction of price tags. With a fairly weak defensive free agent class working in his favor next offseason, Johnson is going to have an amazing 2018.
Of course, so many things could happen to derail the player’s plans. But barring some sort of implosion on the field, Johnson will be a highly sought after free agent come 2018.