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Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson didn’t get a long-term contract, but he’s a team captain

The Times’ Lindsey Thiry talks with Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson, who teammates voted as a captain. Johnson will play the season under the franchise tag before he becomes an unrestricted free agent.

Trumaine Johnson is attempting to make the most of a disappointing situation — and he’s off to a noteworthy start.

The Rams declined to sign the cornerback to a long-term contract during the offseason, but players voted Johnson a team captain.

“It shows you what a great job he’s done on focusing on the things that he can control,” coach Sean McVay said Thursday. “Clearly we know what type of talent he is but now I think he’s starting to bring people with him.”

Johnson, who will start opposite Kayvon Webster on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts, will play again under the franchise tag and earn nearly $17 million. He will become an unrestricted free agent after the season.

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Johnson, 27, said the captain designation was “an honor really coming from my teammates” and that he has focused on “just controlling what I can control, day-in and day-out.”

Johnson has intercepted 16 passes in five seasons with the Rams, including a career- best seven in 2015. Last season, he had only one interception.

Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips said Johnson could be among the elite players at his position.

“He’s come in here, done everything we asked — and a little bit more, really,” Phillips said. “And that’s what I’ve been impressed with. He works at what he does, he’s a smart player. He’s athletic, he listens to what we’re trying to teach and he knows how to fit in the defense.”

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Running back Todd Gurley, left tackle Andrew Whitworth, punter Johnny Hekker, and linebackers Connor Barwin and Alec Ogletree also were voted captains.

lindsey.thiry@latimes.com

Follow Lindsey Thiry on Facebook and Twitter @LindseyThiry


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