Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comLast year, the Jets were blasted for not having enough offensive weapons to counterbalance their defense. In the offseason, the Jets signed productive veterans at four skill positions, starting with re-signing TE Jeff Cumberland and then signing top free agent receiver Eric Decker and then top QB Mike Vick. Not long after, the Jets added former Titan bellcow (who will have a big impact on the Jets offense from a playmaking and scheming standpoint) Chris Johnson. In addition to those veterans the Jets also drafted Jace Amaro at tight end in the second round and three receivers.
So far there might be four teams interested. With the rumors about Andre Johnson creeping up again, would the Jets get involved?
It seems a lot words being written about it.
Paul Schwartz of the New York Post spoke with Dan Shonka of Ourlads.com about Johnson and whether or not the receiver might be shopping for a new home in the New York area.
“Age and time is catching up to Andre Johnson, but we still rated him the league’s fifth best receiver,’’ Dan Shonka, the general manager and a national scout for Ourlads’ NFL Scouting Services, told The Post. “He’s 33 years old and may not be the big-time feature receiver that he once was. However his value is a mentor to the younger receivers and a solid number two option. I can’t see the Giants bringing him in, but the Jets may be an option if the price is right. Bottom line: Can’t see the Texans trading him with their quarterback situation. Stranger things have happened, though.’’
We already know what Jets running back Chris Johnson thinks about the matter.
There’s no question in my mind that while Johnson comes with a hefty price tag from trade and salary cap perspective, he would be an immediate upgrade to the Jets. Johnson could take what might be a middling offense (no shame in that when you consider the Jets defense!!) to one of the league’s better groups, maybe even top ten.
Adding a player like Andre Johnson helps not only the quarterback, but also creates breathing room for Eric Decker, Jeremy Kerley and the rest of the receivers. Johnson was able to post over 100 receptions and 1,400 yards with the likes of Matt Schaub and Case Keenum throwing him the football on what ended up being the worst team in the league.
So the big question is the cost to acquire a player like Johnson, but also what it costs the team in terms of their long-term plans. The have the cap space, but it’s hard imagine that the Texans, who are in rebuilding mode, would part with Johnson for peanuts. Andre Johnson wasn’t part of John Idzik’s plan in how he was going to build the team this season, which is why he drafted a total of four pass catchers and signed two more in free agency.
If there’s a model that seems to keep playing out with Idzik, it’s that they might express some interest in a player (Chris Johnson, DeSean Jackson) but ultimately will call another team’s bluff on whether they might cut the player. They did that with Ed Reed and Chris Johnson specifically.
While there’s always room for a player like Andre Johnson on any NFL roster, it certainly impacts what the Jets long-term plans were for a player like Shaq Evans or Quincy Enunwa and potentially exposes a player they didn’t plan to come this fall. It seems silly, but there’s a lot more to it than just the money it would take to acquire such a player. John Idzik seems much more concerned about all the variables right now when it comes to long-term team building.