The expected reality has come true. Chris Johnson, or “CJ2K”, has been released by the Titans. The Jets have the salary cap space to sign this guy. According to NFL.com, the Jets lead the race to get the guy, take a look:
Three separate New York outfits offered the exact same report Friday morning, conceding the Jets’ interest but cautioning that a signing would be possible only at the right price. In other words, the perceived front-runners are sending a message to Johnson’s camp to lower expectations from the $8 million the running back originally was scheduled to earn in 2014. A source informed of the Titans’ thinking tells NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport that the Jets came closest to pulling off a trade.
It is no surprise that the Jets are going to hold out for the right price, that is how John Idzik does business. However, if they can get the right price, and Johnson is willing to play a complimentary role, the Jets absolutely need to bring him in here. Why?
Because he is something that the Jets haven’t had in a billion years. He’s a gamebreaker.
Take a look at this screen pass from week seven of 2013:
Jake Locker is in the shotgun, with Chris Johnson lined up to his left. Chris is simply going to fall out into the short flat, and turn around.
Here is CJ2K making the catch out of the backfield. The execution is set up to be excellent. Look at the blockers all set to make a lane for Johnson. But you can’t teach this kind of breakaway speed. Let’s watch him go, as best as we can through some still pictures.
Chris makes one cutback around the nearby defenders.
And he is off to the races.
66 yards later, it was a touchdown for the Titans.
What is my point here? Again, he is a gamebreaker. Even at a reduced role, Chris would be a great fit in the Marty Mornhinweg offense. Get Chris on the outside in the screen game and the Jets will have an element to their game that they haven’t had in long time.
If the price is right, it’s time to make a move. It would invigorate the franchise, and pump up a fan base that is dying to see an explosive offense take the field.