In 2013, the New York Jets were perhaps the least explosive team in the league. Today, they felt like solving part of that issue as they have inked free-agent running-back Chris Johnson to a two-year deal.
The reported salary for the deal is $8 million over those two-years, with the possibility of an extra $1 million earned through rushing-yard incentives, according to ESPN’s Adam SchefterNJ.com.
Johnson visited the Jets facility on Tuesday, and was actually spotted in Morristown, NJ early that morning. Work ethic was the main reported reason for the split between Johnson and his former team the Tennessee Titans. Also, being 28-years of age as a RB in the NFL is now considered old.
However, the Jets did not seem to mind about the work-ethic or age concerns.
Johnson has been one of the better offensive-players in the league since he entered. In his six-seasons, he’s rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of them, including over 2,000 yards in 2009 where his “CJ2K” nick-name was born.
CJ has been one of the more explosive players this league has ever seen, and still holds the 40-yard record at the NFL Combine (4.26 seconds), according to ProFootballTalk. That is not the same Chris Johnson that lives today however. Johnson has clearly lost a step, and understandably so as father-time catches up to NFL running-backs quickly.
So what does this all mean for the Jets?
Right off the bat it gives them a perfect combination of players at the RB position, if Johnson can play the part. This position is not one that teams are featuring much these days, and having multiple guys usually does the trick. He will not be a featured guy, only one-part of the back-field.
The ultra-speedy Johnson will now pair-up with the powerful Chris Ivory for a one-two punch. One guy is thunder, the other is lightning.
It’s obvious now what the John Idzik (Jets General Manger) plan is.. Build through the draft, and sign low risk-high reward guys along the way (Johnson and Vick to name a couple).
These guys come with a low price-tag and a whole lot to prove, which is that the game has not passed them by just yet.