Since the Jets' pursuit of Chris Johnson (whether real or perceived) began late last week there seems to be a large contingent of posters here at GGN who are against his signing... even at a reasonable price. Now while I'll readily concede we're not talking about CJ2K here anymore, I heartily submit that even a CJ1K signing improves the Jets offense considerably.
We're talking about a true homerun hitter, an incredibly durable and very tough guy, a guy who will play hurt, a back who has above average hands and is literally a threat to score every time he touches the ball. How long has it been since the Jets have had that? Have we ever? What would adding a safety valve like CJ do for Geno's confidence? And Jet fans, you know that play that other teams run... the screen pass? Adding a Chris Johnson would actually make that a viable option again, something we haven't seen in green and white in quite some time and another tool to help make things easier and open up the field for our developing QB. Not to mention what a successful screen game would mean to our O-Line who as we all know is a better run blocking unit than pass blocking.
I keep going back to Shady McCoy and how he's used in Marty's offense. CJ offers the same kind of versatility. Add in a perfect complimentary back like Chris Ivory and the Jets backfield suddenly becomes an area of concern (notice I didn't say "worry") for opposing Defensive Coordinators. The idea of course is that this will create a ripple effect, opening up the outside passing game with an improved run/short passing game.
One of the things I've found confounding is that while John Idzik has taken a lot of heat thus far this off-season for his perceived penny-pinching ways, I keep seeing cost mentioned as one major factor to consider when discussing adding Johnson. Why are people suddenly worried about Woody's money? At this point, who else could we sign that could possibly have as big an impact this year as CJ1K? Cap space is obviously not a concern this season and with the expected escalation in the cap in the coming years, we could seemingly front load a 3 yr deal with minimal risk and virtually no commitment past next year for say 12 million, 7 guaranteed. IF this is the going rate, and let's be honest, I'm about as qualified to set these numbers as John Idzik is to remodel my kitchen, then what could possibly be an argument against this?
I understand there's risk in signing a soon-to-be 29 yr old running back with 2000 touches on his treads but the risk is money based, Woody's money, and its not like he'll be blocking a young back's progress. I've seen a lot of "Let's just draft a back in the middle rounds." Absolutely in agreement and signing CJ wouldn't change that in the least. If a young back comes in and out-produces Johnson, he'll get the touches. I firmly believe in Idzik's mantra of competition at every position and his adherence to that philosophy... see Flynn, Matt. (And as far as Geno/Sanchez last year there were far too many extenuating circumstances for that to be a fair litmus test. Plus Sanchez, while a really nice kid, just sucks.)
When it comes down to it, this signing makes much more football sense than signing DeSean Jackson ever would. D-Jax is a nice talent, no doubt. But he is cost prohibitive, much more of an injury risk, comes with character concerns and his friendship with Vick might've been a real issue in relation to the QB competition. Johnson, while not offering quite the same upside as D-Jax is a better fit for what our offense is geared toward. I say sign The Grill and then let's go a-drafting.