It’s only a matter of time before Chris Johnson is released by the Tennessee Titans, and that time will likely be much sooner rather than later. When (not if) Johnson does officially become a free agent, the speculation that the New York Jets will sign him almost immediately is not turning into reports. It’s basically understood at this point the Jets will be on the phone with Johnson’s agent the moment he’s available, as they should be.
Still expecting Chris Johnson’s release to come this week. When it does, look for the Jets to pounce on the RB. Would be a strong fit
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) April 2, 2014
The six-year veteran has never failed to rush for less than 1,000 yards in a season during his NFL career. Sure, he hasn’t gotten close to 2,000 yards since his sophomore season when he earned the nickname CJ2K, but he’s still one of the best running backs in the league, especially when utilized properly.
In the past, the Jets have tried hard to pound the ball with the running game, but haven’t been able to do so since Thomas Jonas left via free agency. Shonn Greene didn’t pan out as a full-time starter and New York’s backfield has been a revolving door since he was given the boot. Johnson may not be on Adrian Peterson’s level anymore, but he’s by far the best option for the Jets at this point.
The main sticking ping with this potential NFL marriage is the almighty dollar. If Johnson is still looking for the mega money he was making in Tennessee, the Jets can’t and shouldn’t bow down to his demands. If he’s willing to play for a more reasonable salary while still making more than the average running back (which isn’t much), then he would be a perfect fit for the Jets, who are revamping their offense after signing Michael Vick and Eric Decker this offseason.
By now, Jets head coach Rex Ryan has to know he can’t just pound the rock, even with Johnson in the backfield. CJ2K is much more effective when he has the ball in space and his speed makes him a lethal receiver out of the backfield. If Ryan understands this and applies it to his offense, then New York’s attack could be better than it’s been in a long, long time with Johnson leading the charge.
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