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THOUSAND OAKS (AP) — The Rams have placed the franchise tag on cornerback Trumaine Johnson for the second straight year.

The Rams announced the decision Wednesday, shortly before the deadline for making the move.

Johnson will be the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL if he plays under the franchise tender. The Rams and Johnson can negotiate a long-term deal until July 15.

Johnson is a standout cover cornerback for the Rams’ defense, which ranked ninth in the NFL last year.

He had just one interception last season after getting seven in 2015. Johnson also had 57 tackles while making $13.952 million in 2016.

He has 15 interceptions in his first four NFL seasons. He will continue to have a key role for the Rams under new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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