The Los Angeles Rams continued onto Week 3 of OTAs on Monday afternoon that featured the notable return of veteran cornerback Trumaine Johnson back on the practice for the first time after a one-week absence.
Following Monday's session, head coach Sean McVay discussed Johnson's presence at the practice facility but did not go into details as to why he had an extended absence.
Much of the speculation surrounding him has keyed in on his current contract as the Rams placed the franchise tag on him for the second straight offseason with his pay worth $16.7 million for the 2017 season. Los Angeles has until July 15 to hammer out a new long-term deal with Johnson, which is something that the front office was unable to do last summer.
However, he quickly shot down that notion as he stated that it was a personal matter that he had to tend to last week.
Not at all. No contract," Johnson said, according to therams.com. Like I said, it’s a personal situation that I needed to take care of. I’m glad to be back.”
Johnson did touch upon his contract situation to which he stated he will address it when the time comes.
“Right now, I’m happy to be here and playing ‘ball," Johnson said. "I’m controlling what I can control. And when that contract stuff comes up, I’ll handle it.”
In light of all that, McVay appears to be quite optimistic about the long-term outlook for both sides while voicing excitement about Johnson's return to the team.
“Yeah, he just had some things going on that he had to take care of," McVay said. "We appreciate him communicating that to us and we knew he was going to be back ready to roll today.”
Johnson has spent his first six seasons in the league with the Rams since being selected in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft. He has worked his way up to being one of the team's anchors defensively as the top option at his position.
The 27-year-old is coming off a productive 2016 season that saw him go through a few rough patches totaling 57 tackles, 11 pass deflection, and one interception in 14 games played. According to Pro Football Focus, he graded out as the 27th overall player at his position (81.0), 26th in pass coverage (81.6), and 98th against the run (39.2). He also allowed an 83.7 passer rating in coverage while giving up eight touchdowns, which was tied for the eighth-most in the NFL.