Yesterday, the Jets announced that they had signed running back Chris Johnson to a two-year deal. Johnson is a well-known player with whom most NFL fans will be familiar. However, it’s still worth looking at recent footage to try and get an insight into what Johnson has left in the tank and what he could bring to the table.
Johnson is a 28-year old former first round pick who has surpassed 1,000 yards in each of his six seasons in the NFL (all with the Tennessee Titans). He’s a three time pro-bowler and was an all-pro in 2009 when he became just the sixth player in NFL history to rush for over 2,000 yards in a season. Johnson has also caught 272 passes and scored a total of 58 touchdowns in his NFL career.
After the jump, I’ll be reviewing his career so far and looking at footage from last year to try and assess some of his strengths and weaknesses. To read more of this story, click here
Newest Jet Chris Johnson spoke to the New York media on Thursday afternoon, hitting on the reason he signed with New York, the health of his knee and motivation coming off a down year in 2013.
Johnson said he and his agent spoke with many teams, but decided on the Jets because of their aggressive nature.
“Coming in and meeting with the coaches and the type of coach Rex Ryan is… He’s an aggressive type of coach and I’m an aggressive type of player,” Johnson said. “From talking to Rex and talking to Marty [Mornhinweg], they’ll put everybody in the best position to help everybody win.”
Johnson continued: To read more of this story, click here
Running back Chris Johnson will sign a two-year deal with the Jets (Schefter, April 16).
Update – 4:36 p.m.: Johnon’s deal has a base value of $8 million, with $1 million in available incentives (PFT, April 16).
The 28-year-old is a three time pro-bowler (albeit not since 2010) and has surpassed 1,000 rushing yards in each of his six seasons in the NFL and has been among the most durable running backs in the league, starting 116 games in each of the last five seasons.
He has 50 rushing touchdowns and eight receiving touchdowns in his career. He had a 4.6 yards per carry over his career, but that dipped to 3.9 YPC last season.
Johnson has almost 10,000 yards from scrimmage in his career.
He will join Bilal Powell and Chris Ivory in the backfield. This likely signals the end of Mike Goodson’s tenure with the Jets, coupled with his ongoing legal troubles.
What’s impressive about Johnson is that he’s a legitimate three-down back in an era where that’s a dying breed. Not only has Johnson not missed a game in five years, he’s also been in the top six for total snaps by a running back in each of the last four seasons. He therefore has a lot of experience on passing downs, both as a blocker (has stayed in to block 99 times on average in each of the past three seasons) and as a pass catcher (272 career receptions). >> Read more from Bent here…
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com
According to Football Outsiders
, over the last five years the Tennessee Titans have never had a offensive line that ranked above the 19th spot in run-blocking, many times ranking among the league’s very worst units. While the Jets offensive line is a unit in flux, it’s hard not to think that just by placing him behind the Jets line he’ll see an increase in effectiveness. While the Jets are clearly paying Johnson more than they did Chris Ivory a year ago, the Jets will likely employ C&C (Touchdown Factory?) in a shared role. Ivory has proven to be a punishing runner between the tackles and Johnson gives the Jets a more dynamic every down runner than Bilal Powell.
For Corey Griffin’s thoughts on Johnson, click here…
UPDATE 8:03pm ET: Sidney Rice will return to the Seattle Seahawks on a one-year deal (Schefter, April 16).
On this morning’s Boomer and Carton show, Craig Carton revealed that a “very reliable person” has informed him that the Jets intend to bring in wide receiver Sidney Rice for a sit-down and that they are likely to sign him if everything works out.
Watch this clip to hear their discussion of the potential move and how it would impact upon the Jets’ offseason so far.
The 27-year old Rice tore his ACL last October and was released by the Seahawks in February. The former second round draft pick was a pro bowler in 2009 and caught 50 passes in his last full season (2012).
We wrote about reports of the Jets being interested in Rice last month. Since then, the Jets have added free agent Jacoby Ford to their receiving corps.
UPDATE 6:40pm ET:
One of the stats that will be thrown around in relation to Rice is the fact that he had the most targets and catches without a drop last season. However, despite this, he still had a disappointing catch rate of below 50%. I’m not sure that’s a big deal, anyway. The tight end with the most targets and catches and no drops was Kellen Winslow and nobody’s lining up to sign him right now.
Rice never really lived up to the five year, $41m deal he signed with the Seahawks a couple of seasons ago. However, if he can get healthy, he’s a potential upgrade over some of the players the Jets used at wide receiver over the past couple of seasons. The Jets have already upgraded the depth of their receiving corps though and figure to add at least one more receiver in the draft, so I don’t know if Rice would be a lock to make the team if he signed here.
Rice ran a 4.51 forty yard dash at the 2007 combine, but seven years and a serious knee injury later it’s highly unlikely he still possesses the athleticism he entered the league with. Nevertheless, he’s still capable of being productive as he showed against Jacksonville last September when he had five catches for 79 yards and two touchdowns.
Chris Johnson left the Jets facility on Tuesday without a deal, he told reporters at the Knicks/Nets game in Brooklyn.
“I’m just taking it one day at a time, taking my time, and whatever decision I make, it will be the best decision,” Johnson said (Cimini, April 16).
Johnson was released by the Titans two weeks ago. The Jets were the first team he has visited.
For Corey Griffin’s thoughts on Johnson, click here.
Corey Griffin, TheJetsBlog.com
Chris Johnson remains a free agent, and that’s OK.
That isn’t what some of you want to hear. You’re tired of waiting. I can understand that. Patience is a virtue, particularly in today’s round-the-clock-and-calendar NFL. Not every is willing to wait for Week 1. They want it in April.
But John Idzik rushes for no man, and while we can certainly debate whether that was wise two or three weeks ago, there is no doubt it is the wise course of action now.
Teams are closer to the draft and further from the start of free agency, meaning most have filled already multiple holes on their roster, some with high-salary additions. The Jets are not in this class, but its existence benefits them. To read more of this story, click here