Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson eager to face Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins

Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson eager to face Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins
Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson returns a pass interception for a touchdown in front of Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton (13) on Sept. 10. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

As a franchise-tagged player for the second season in a row, Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson shares a bond of sorts with Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins.

That's one reason Johnson is looking forward to Sunday's game at the Coliseum.


"He's tagged twice," Johnson said Friday, "so I know how that is."

Cousins is earning nearly $24 million this season, Johnson nearly $17 million.

Both could become unrestricted free agents at the end of the season.

Johnson began making his case for a huge deal last week against the Indianapolis Colts. He returned an interception for a touchdown and also caused and recovered a fumble in the Rams' 46-9 rout.

Johnson was selected NFC defensive player of the week, the first time the sixth-year pro has earned that recognition.

"I'm going to take it and run with it," Johnson said. "That's way more motivation to go out there and do it again and help us win games."

Johnson was disappointed he was not offered a long-term deal from the Rams during the offseason.

But he has apparently put that behind him — or used it to fuel his free-agency drive — and has been an exemplary teammate. Players voted Johnson one of six team captains, and coach Sean McVay and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips have praised his work ethic and example.

"Getting that captain is an honor, especially from my teammates, and makes me want to do even better," Johnson said.

In Week 1, Cousins completed 23 of 40 passes for 240 yards and a touchdown, with one interception, in a 30-17 defeat by the Philadelphia Eagles.

"He makes good reads, gets the ball out of his hands, and he's an athlete too," Johnson said. "A lot of guys sleep on that aspect of his game. He likes to extend plays."

Follow Gary Klein on Twitter @latimesklein