The Los Angeles Rams have already made some huge moves this offseason with their player personnel cutting defensive end Chris Long, linebacker James Laurinaitis, and tight end Jared Cook, which saved them $24.375 million on their 2016 salary cap. A big reason the organization cut those players is because the Rams front office is looking to take care of some of their young free agents, in particular cornerbacks Trumaine Johnson and Janoris Jenkins, according to NFL reporter Albert Breer.
Both corners are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents in March, but reports have surfaced that the team is considering placing the transition tag on Johnson if they are unable to get a long-term deal done. Transition tags have not been very successful moves for NFL franchises in recent history, and Johnson won't sign a transition tender if applied, as he will look "aggressively for an offer from another team," according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.
The team is reportedly looking to get a long-term deal done and don't want to lose Johnson, who is coming off a career best season. The Rams talented corner recorded 71 combined tackles, seven interceptions and defended 17 passes. The Rams front office has until March 1 to place the transition tag on Johnson, and it will be interesting to follow what other moves general manger Les Snead does this offseason, as he looks to lock up two of their top corners.
Another big name player that will likely be leaving the Rams this offseason is defensive tackle Nick Fairley, according to ESPN's Nick Wagoner. The former first round pick signed a one-year contract in St. Louis to prove himself, and while he didn't produce the numbers statistically, he was still effective in the middle of their defensive line. Fairley recorded 29 combined tackles and half a sack during the 2015 season, and he is expected to still garner plenty of interest on the open market. The Los Angeles Rams are clearly looking to rebuild with youth on the defensive side of the ball this offseason and will likely let Fairley walk, as they look to re-sign players like Johnson and Jenkins.