Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson, a third-round draft pick by the Rams in 2012 out of the University of Montana, was arrested Friday on suspicion of driving under the influence in Missoula, Mont.
Johnson was booked at 3:05 a.m. according to Missoula County Jail records and released at 4:13 a.m. after posting a $700 bond. It’s a misdemeanor charge.
According to KPAX.com, Johnson was pulled over at 2 a.m. by a Missoula Police Department officer because his headlights weren’t on. Johnson subsequently refused to take a breath test.
Johnson, 23, appeared in 16 games with three starts last season as a Rams rookie. He took over as the team’s third cornerback midway through the season, moving ahead of Bradley Fletcher on the depth chart.
He finished with 35 tackles, eight pass breakups and two interceptions, and figures to be among the Rams’ top three cornerbacks entering the 2013 season behind starters Cortland Finnegan and Janoris Jenkins.
Friday’s incident, along with Jenkins’ suspension for a game last season after partying with two teammates before the Rams Nov. 11 contest at San Francisco, could increase the need for the team to add another cornerback, either in the draft or what remains in free agency.
During the 2011 season at Montana, Johnson was tasered by Missoula police trying to control a rowdy party at Johnson’s apartment. Johnson later pleaded no contest to misdemeanor disorderly conduct charges.
As for Friday’s DUI charge, there was no immediate comment from Johnson’s agent. The Rams released the following statement: “We are aware of the situation regarding Trumaine Johnson. We are gathering more information and we will have no further comment at this time.”
Similarly, NFL executive Greg Aiello said via email that the league will review the facts and make a determination on any possible discipline for Johnson.
According to the substance abuse program in the league’s collective bargaining agreement, a first DUI with no aggravating circumstances results in a fine of two game-checks — up to a maximum of $50,000.
The Rams released blocking tight end Matthew Mulligan, a move that saves a modest $725,000 in salary cap space. Mulligan, who was signed from the New York Jets last year as a free agent, appeared in all 16 games in 2012 for the Rams, with nine starts.
Mulligan, 28, had eight catches for 84 yards in 2012 — both career highs for the four-year pro. In Week 2 against Washington, Mulligan caught his first NFL touchdown pass — the go-ahead score in what became a 31-28 victory. He also blocked a punt that set up his TD catch in that game.
Mulligan’s departure means it’s more likely that backups Mike McNeill and Cory Harkey will make the squad in 2013 behind top tight ends Lance Kendricks and Jared Cook.