NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Here we go again. The Jets have been mentioned as a potential landing spot for another highly productive veteran.
This time it’s Chris Johnson, the former 2,000-yard running back who is expected to be traded or cut by the Tennessee Titans inside of the next week, the NFL Network reported Monday.
Johnson, who starred at East Carolina before being drafted in the first round by the Titans back in 2008, makes a lot of sense for the Jets, who are around $30 million under the salary cap and are stressing competition at every position. With incumbent Chris Ivory prone to injury, having a durable back like Johnson, who has missed one game in his career and has rushed for at least 1,000 yards in all six of his NFL seasons, including an immortal 2,006-yard effort back in 2009, would figure to be a very smart play.
However, despite being known as one of the best breakaway backs in the league, Johnson is coming off a down year, averaging just 3.9 yards per carry in 2013. And considering general manager John Idzik’s refusal thus far to hand out big money contracts for players closing in on 30, just how much interest the Jets actually have in the soon-to-be 29-year-old Johnson is probably open to interpretation.
Idzik has been under constant fire this offseason due to his deliberate approach to free agency. The Jets have been linked to almost every big name free agent, likely due to their massive amount of cap space, but so far Idzik has stuck to his guns of not spending for spending’s sake. Now, whether or not he’s been right in this approach is open to debate, considering he chose not to go all-in on players like corners Darrelle Revis, Alterraun Verner and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, running back Maurice Jones-Drew and, so far, gifted wide receiver DeSean Jackson.
For his career, Johnson has 7,965 yards rushing on a 4.6-per-carry average, with 50 touchdowns. He’s also been outstanding as a receiver out of the backfield, catching 272 balls for more than 2,000 yards with another eight TDs.
Johnson has been linked to the Atlanta Falcons, but they’ve said they have no intention of signing him and pairing him with Steven Jackson, the NFL Network reported.
BREAKING NEWS: JETS SEEM TO LIKE A CORNER
He’s just not one that you’ve probably ever heard of.
According to ProFootballTalk, nine-year veteran Dimitri Patterson was to meet with the Jets on Monday.
Patterson, who spent last season with the Miami Dolphins, could be a cheap alternative to Antonio Cromartie, whom the Jets allowed to leave for the Arizona Cardinals during free agency.
A groin injury forced the 30-year-old Patterson to injured reserve in December, but when he was healthy he finished with 19 tackles, four interceptions, a sack and six passes defended in six games.
Patterson has appeared in just 15 games over the last three seasons and has played in 16 games in a season just once since 2005, but if healthy could be a decent option across from the Jets’ other starting corner, second-year man Dee Milliner.
Wide receiver Jacoby Ford and guard Rich Ohrnberger also visited the Jets on Monday, the Daily News reported.
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