The New York Jets have announced that they have signed Chris Johnson, formerly of the Tennessee Titans. We have talked about Johnson at length, and now he is a member of the team. I'm reserving final judgment until I see the contract numbers, but generally speaking, I think this is a good move. We know it's a two year deal, and we've said what terms the team and Johnson were looking for earlier.
It's important that you don't expect the CJ2K that broke 2,000 rushing yards several years ago, one of only seven players to ever do so. Despite that, Johnson is still a serviceable player that has never had a season of less than 1,000 yards (six straight, the closest active streak is three seasons) and has never caught less than thirty-six passes in a season. He gives the team a decent pass catcher out of the backfield, which is important for Marty Mornhinweg's scheme, and something that Chris Ivory simply cannot provide, at all. He may not be a huge receiving threat, but he's a better option than what the team has currently in Ivory and Bilal Powell (I'm not counting Mike Goodson until he proves he can stay on the field. Last year was way too limited of a sample size).
Ivory and Johnson should make an excellent committee approach at running back. Ivory is power, and Johnson is speed. Both can break a play for a home run. Although Johnson's numbers have declined in recent years, I'd wager that's due to overuse and a desperate need for a change in scenery. He's struggled lately due to a worsening offensive line and by trying to hit a home run on every play, instead of taking what's given. Last year, Johnson tore his meniscus in the third game of the season, which partially explains his decline. Despite that, he didn't miss a game (he's been incredibly durable throughout his career) and appears to be healthy now. It wouldn't surprise me to see Johnson recover nicely with less use in a new location for at least a year or two. I think this can be similar to signing LaDainian Tomlinson in 2010, who was also thought by many to be washed up, which worked out well.
Between Johnson and Ivory, we now have the Dreaded Backfield (Predator Backfield? Taking suggestions). I'm looking forward to seeing what Johnson can do here. What about you?
Per source, Chris Johnson's two-year deal has a base value of $8 million, with another $1 million available in incentives based on yardage.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) April 16, 2014