In April of 2014, the New York Jets landed free agent running back Chris Johnson. Here’s what Johnson had to say about the signing at that point in time….
“I think I’m going to fit in pretty well. Just talking to him (Mornhinweg) and to Rex, who’s a guy that likes to run the ball, I think I’m going to fit in very well. We talked about all those things, catching out of the backfield, getting the ball to me in space.”
Johnson had compiled six straight 1,000 yard rushing seasons from 2008 to 2013 with the Tennessee Titans and even though he was coming off of a down year he still got a $4 million deal with the Jets ($3 million signing bonus).
The deal he signed was for two years but with Johnson due a $500,000 bonus and a base salary of $3.5 million in 2015, the Jets felt it was best to part ways with Johnson.
In 2014, Johnson had a career low in attempts with 155 and a career low in yardage with 663 rushing yards and scored just one TD. He did improve his yards per carry average year-over-year from 3.9 to 4.3.
Coming on the heels of the release, Johnson had some words for the Jets brass when he was a guest on the Rich Eisen show (via ESPN)…
“I think I went into a situation where I was told one thing and it was another”
“Throughout the whole thing, I think last year, with that organization, I think a lot of the stuff was out of Rex’s hands. A lot of the things that we were doing I think it was out of Rex’s hands. Don’t nobody know, but it was a [bad] situation.”
“Yeah, like a lot of things, probably, I guess, calling the shots, as far as with the team and things that goes on on Sundays and whatever. I think a lot of it was out of Rex’s hands because when I sat down and talked to Rex before I signed with the Jets, my role and my situation were explained to me totally different to what actually happened.
“That’s just what it was. It was never a type of thing where I was just being outplayed or anything like that. It was never a situation where I got the opportunity to show my talents and be used the way that I was supposed to be used.”
For Johnson, it’s not a great year for him to be on the free agent market with guys like Demarco Murray, Frank Gore and Mark Ingram potentially looking for new teams and a premier crop of running backs available in the draft like Todd Gurley, Melvin Gordon, Duke Johnson, TJ Yeldon, Mike Davis and Ameer Abdullah.
It will be interesting to see where Johnson lands as it will likely be a short deal much like his last one and almost certainly less lucrative.