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Rams GM: Re-signing CB Johnson a 'big decision'

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Trumaine Johnson played 2016 under the franchise tag. Now the Los Angeles Rams are stuck with another quandary in the secondary: How much do you pay the No. 1 corner in a mediocre secondary?

In a Q&A with Gary Klein of the L.A. Times, Rams GM Les Snead noted that the decision on Johnson could shape the offseason focus.

"That will be a big decision," Snead said. "Wade (Phillips), like a lot of [defensive coordinators], likes good players on the outside. Trumaine fits that category. ... Trumaine is a larger guy with good ball skills and all things like that. Is it a square in a square, a triangle in a triangle or more a rectangle in a square? ... That's probably one of the top priorities when Wade walks in the door because, obviously, the magnitude of what his contract will look like and the magnitude of what another franchise tag looks like and everything in between."

Much will be made about the Phillips traditionally running a 3-4 while the Rams were built for a 4-3. Linebackers are a need for L.A., but the back end of the defense will be just as vital for Snead.

In 2016 there was little depth in the Rams' secondary behind Johnson and Lamarcus Joyner, with the likes of E.J. Gaines and Troy Hill getting picked on mercilessly by opposing quarterbacks.

The 6-foot-2 Johnson is ideally suited for Phillips' defense as a player that can be put on an island on the outside and matchup one-on-one with opposing No. 1 receivers.

Johnson owns the leverage -- it would cost the Rams $16.8 million to franchise the corner again in 2017 -- and could set the market for corners.

Los Angeles has about $40 million in cap space entering next season, per OverTheCap.com. Making sure Phillips has one stud corner for his system should be a priority for Snead.

Last offseason the Rams chose to tag Johnson over Janoris Jenkins. Now Snead is staring at the possibility of seeing another top-tier corner walk out of the building. 

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