By Justin Patrick @calling_allfans on April 17, 2014
Former Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson has signed a two-year, 8 million dollar deal (incentives could add 1 million dollars) with the New York Jets. Johnson received a six-year, 54 million dollar extension in 2011 and was due to make 8 million dollars in 2014, but he was unwilling to restructure his contract so he was cut this offseason. There is no doubt Johnson has been electric, but here are five reasons he will fail with the Jets.
The Jets have made some nice free agent acquisitions this offseason (WR Eric Decker, WR Jacoby Ford, QB Michael Vick), but the New England Patriots are still the favorites to win the division. That leaves the Jets playing for one of two Wild Card spots. I don’t see it happening.
The Jets added two good WRs (Decker and Ford), but their QB situation is not ideal. NY released Mr. Butt Fumble Mark Sanchez and signed Vick. The other Jets QBs are Geno Smith (second year) and David Garrard (10th year). Geno showed some play making ability in 2013, but he threw 21 INTs and 12 TDs. How much does Vick really have left in the tank and can he stay healthy if ends up being the starter? Will the running game be asked to do too much?
Johnson will turn 29 on Sept. 23. Running backs seem to break down right around 30 years of age. In addition, you need factor in that Johnson was asked to carry the load in his six seasons with the Titans. There was no running back by committee; he was THE guy. He won’t have to be the guy in NY, and Johnson trying to adjust to that could be another issue in and of itself. But the real question is, will his body hold up for two more seasons?
In January, Johnson had surgery to repair a torn meniscus he said he played with since Week 3 of the 2013 season. It’s highly doubtful the Jets would have signed Johnson if they didn’t believe all was right with his knee, and he did pass a physical with the Titans before he was released. While Johnson’s knee may hold up, it is not a certainty.
Johnson had an incredible season in 2009 when he rushed for 2,006 yards on 358 attempts, averaging 5.6 yards per attempt and 125.4 yards per game. Since then Johnson has been steadily declining. He rushed for 1,364 yards in 2010, 1,047 yards in 2011, 1,243 yards in 2012 and 1,077 yards in 2013. Johnson only averaged 3.9 yards per carry in 2013, the lowest of his career. Why should we believe his numbers will improve as he gets older?
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