RB Chris Johnson had his first visit with a team since he was cut, meeting with the New York Jets. Johnson spent the majority of this past Tuesday at the Jets’ training facility discussing the possibility of signing with the team. After taking a physical and speaking to many within the organization, Johnson left with no contract and gave a few comments to reporters.
Claiming he would take things one day at a time, it seems Johnson left a bit disappointed. He plans to visit other NFL teams to see the general interest in his services. One dose of reality to this entire situation is the fact that the market for running backs is in severe decline. Many know the NFL has transformed into a passing league and are straying away from the running game. The most dominating teams are the ones that use potent aerial assaults.
A player like Johnson, while good to have for a ground-and-pound running game, isn’t appealing to the majority of teams. Many prefer dynamic quarterbacks matched with prolific wide receivers to score plenty of touchdowns in the air. The general idea is that this is what creates wins and brings fans to their feet. Many prefer to see highlights of a wideout hauling in a 57-yard touchdown rather than a running back plowing through defenders for a seven-yard gain.
Johnson plans on making the best decision possible for his career, but he must truly reevaluate his asking price. There is a strong possibility he was asking for a lot more money than the Jets, or any team for that matter, is willing to shell out for a running back who has been inconsistent the past few years. There is no guarantee that he will be the player he once was when he first started his professional football career.
The current state of the Jets is that they need some new cornerbacks, wide receivers and some linebackers. Acquiring Johnson would be good for the team, but not anything that is a dire need at the moment. Chris Ivory is coming off a solid season and will only improve. There could be a risk factor with Johnson considering his individual decline, so there could be a big possibility that the Jets didn’t like what they saw during his visit.
Either way, Johnson will shop himself around to other teams for now. He could very well come to the Jets at a good bargain at the end of the process.