Rams Free Agency: 2 Super Bowl Experienced DBs Worth a Look


Getty Jalen Ramsey jars the football out of Zach Ertz on September 25, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona.

Whether if the Los Angeles Rams keep Jalen Ramsey or send him away via trade, the franchise has a prime opportunity to capitalize on improving their secondary — by going after two prominent defensive backs set to hit free agency.

Even better for the Rams, both come equipped with Super Bowl experience in tow and in the case of one DB, coming off the heels of a career-best season. And both hail from the NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles.

Here are two options the Rams can consider with free agency on the horizon:

C.J. Gardner Johnson, Safety

It’s appearing as though “CJGJ” has played his last game in Philly. He posted this cryptic video with the caption “All Love Philly” which showcased his highlight moments in his lone season as an Eagle.

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Even more eye-catching: Gardner-Johnson has no mention of the Eagles in his Twitter byline. Eagle fans are beginning to sound off the alarm that the ball-hawking DB is on his way out.

Gardner-Johnson was set to become an unrestricted free agent anyway. The Eagles took on the remainder of his four-year, $3.3 million deal from the New Orleans Saints when the August 30, 2022 trade was made.

But now, the 25-year-old is positioning himself as the top safety available via the forthcoming free agency signing period set for Wednesday, March 15. While manning one of the safety spots, “CJGJ” or “Ceedy Duce” delivered a career-best six interceptions for Philly. He also delivered personal bests in tackles for both total and solo stops.

If he were to head to the Rams, he would walk into a room that is facing the inevitability of being without leading tacklers Nick Scott and Taylor Rapp — as both safeties are UFAs on L.A.’s side. Furthermore, Gardner-Johnson would give the Rams and defensive coordinator Raheem Morris a much needed safety ball-hawk. While the Rams tied for fourth in the league with 16 total defensive picks, not one safety swooped up more than two aerial takeaways.

There’ll need to be a strong cap number for the Rams to bring in Gardner-Johnson, as Spotrac projects $13.3 million annually for him in his next deal. But with Bobby Wagner and Leonard Floyd on their way out, it’ll clear up some room for the Rams — and give them enough to potentially pursue CJGJ or this other free agent teammate of his:

James Bradberry, Cornerback

Already, there are Rams fans who believe Bradberry would be a strong CB2 choice for the Rams including one who thinks he would be a key get at a discount.

On top of that, ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter mentioned on 97.5 FM The Fanatic in Philadelphia Wednesday of how Bradberry was on a one-year deal anyway and is likely on his way out.

Bradberry delivered his third career three interception season while playing for a stacked Eagles defense. With him set to turn 30 during 2023 training camp, he could come in as a mentor for the younger Ram DBs like Cobie Durant and Derion Kendrick. Or even form a veteran tandem with a fellow member of the 2016 draft class in Ramsey should the Rams find a way to keep their All-Pro CB.

Spotrac predicts $15.1 million annually for the NFC champion corner, while also earning a three-year, $45.5 million deal. But that can be seen as a lot of money given to a CB heading toward his 30s. Perhaps the Rams can offer a workable deal to the veteran.

There could also be this pitch the Rams perhaps can consider: Bradberry getting San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel twice a year, plus the chance at responding to the Niners All-Pro calling him “trash” during his appearance on I Am Athlete in February 2023.

Time will tell if the Rams pursue one or the other. But for a team known to make splashy free agent moves at needy positions, the two NFC champs are among the best for their positions in this free agent market.

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