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John Johnson III returns to Rams on 1-year deal

After much speculation around whether he’d rejoin Brandon Staley with the Chargers, Johnson is headed back to the LA team that drafted him.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Carolina Panthers Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Chargers fans likely woke up to some unfortunate news on Monday morning as former LA Rams and Cleveland Browns safety John Johnson III will reportedly sign a one-year contract to head back to Los Angeles and play for Sean McVay. The news was first reported by Jake Ellebogen of the

After being drafted by the Rams in the third round out of Boston College, Johnson spent four seasons in Los Angeles, culminating in a productive 2020 campaign under then-defensive coordinator Brandon Staley. From 2021-2022, Johnson played for the Browns where he helped build one of the best pass defenses in the league during that span.

Once he became a free agent earlier this year, many speculated that Johnson would end up with the Chargers as a proven veteran presence to an otherwise inexperienced safety group outside of Derwin James. Playing for the Chargers also meant reuniting with Staley which seemed like all this team needed to sway Johnson to sign. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the Chargers made much of a push to sign him if he took a one-year deal to return to a team that’s trending in the wrong direction after the 2022 season.

With this piece of news finally in the rearview, the Chargers will move forward with Alohi Gilman as the starter at free safety opposite James in 2023.