Jets Part Ways With Chris Johnson
The New York Jets will be looking for answers elsewhere again at the running back position in 2015. The team has reportedly declined to pick up running back Chris Johnson’s $500,000 option bonus, effectively making him a free agent.
It’s an unsurprising development given New York’s change of regime, as well as Johnson’s age and 2014 impact. Johnson was signed on a year ago to try to be New York’s featured back, but never could fend off the bruising Chris Ivory. Instead, the two shared Gang Green’s offensive backfield all season long.
Johnson’s inability to keep the offensive touches to himself limited him to just 663 rushing yards and two total touchdowns. Johnson still had a healthy 4.3 yards per carry average, but suffered through his first season of his career with less than 200 rushing attempts or 1,000 rushing yards.
Now almost 30 years old (in September), Johnson hits the open market with a shaky resume. He was once a solid feature back and one that took the league by storm with an impressive 2,000+ yard season back in 2009, but has been in a slow decline ever since. More specifically, Johnson is a speed back that appears to have lost some of his long ball and doesn’t help enough in other areas. Needless to say, if he couldn’t help out a Jets team that badly wanted/needed him to be a force on offense in 2014, it’s worth wondering if he can help anyone else out, as well.
Being a classic “me first” guy, it’s not likely Johnson’s act will be becoming for other prospective teams considering bringing him on. Johnson is poor in pass protection and has declined as an in between the tackles rusher, so unless he’s able to convince another team he still can get it done, it’s entirely possible we’ve seen the last of the infamous CJ2k.
As for the Jets, they’ll move forward with the injury-prone Ivory, but will likely add competition via the draft and possibly free agency again, as well.
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