Welp, that didn’t take long. The Los Angeles Rams lost prized safety John Johnson to the Cleveland Browns on a 3-year, $33.75 million contract with $24 million guaranteed.
#Browns deal for S John Johnson: Three years, $33.75 million with $24 million guaranteed, source says. Former third-rounder cashes in.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 15, 2021
Considering the Rams’ salary cap disaster, it’s not entirely surprising that Johnson will not return in 2021. To be fair, the Rams also have Taylor Rapp, Jordan Fuller and Terrell Burgess waiting in the wings. It will be difficult to replicate Johnson’s production and impact though.
Johnson earned 105 tackles, one interception and eight pass deflections in 2020. Not only was Johnson the Rams’ leading tackler, but was considered one of the best safeties in the league.
The 4-year pro out of Boston College was selected in the third round, 91st overall, of the 2017 NFL Draft. Johnson will join a Browns defense that’s already stacked, but certainly needed a safety.
Also not returning in 2021 is fellow 2017 NFL Draft classmate, Samson Ebukam. He will be traveling up North and join NFC West rivals, the San Francisco 49ers. He reportedly agreed to a 2-year, $12 million contract that could reach up to $13.5 million with incentives.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 15, 2021
Ebukam has had a mixed success rate while in Los Angeles. His most memorable game stems back to the legendary 2018 Monday Night thriller against the Kansas City Chiefs. He’s made some big plays here and there, but hasn’t been too consistent.
The former fourth-rounder earned 31 tackles and 4.5 sacks in 2020. His presence kind of diminshed behind Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Terrell Lewis, Justin Hollins and Derek Rivers. It’s not clear what role Ebukam will have with the 49ers, but it never hurts having a little intel from a rival team. Stay tuned from even more free agency happening.