NY Jets could trade for 49ers cornerback Dontae Johnson
By Justin Fried
The NY Jets addressed a number of key needs this offseason, but one position that remains a prominent question mark is cornerback.
The Jets opted not to target the position in free agency and waited until Day 3 of the 2021 NFL Draft to make any real additions to their cornerback room.
The result is an inexperienced, unproven unit headed by former Day 3 picks and undrafted free agents. Could the Jets look to add a veteran to the group before the season starts?
Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report recently connected the Jets to San Francisco 49ers cornerback Dontae Johnson and insisted that Gang Green should look to trade for the veteran defensive back.
Should the NY Jets consider trading for Dontae Johnson?
A fourth-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, Johnson has spent the majority of his career with the 49ers, albeit as part of multiple stints.
The NC State product spent the first four years of his career in San Francisco where he played sparingly before finally being elevated to a starting role in 2017.
Unfortunately, Johnson would prove ineffective finishing the year with a very poor Pro Football Focus grade of 50.3 that ranked 114th out of 120 qualified cornerbacks.
The 49ers unsurprisingly opted not to re-sign him in the offseason, but he'd find his way back to San Francisco before long. He re-signed with the team ahead of the 2019 season kicking off what would become a two-year game of roster musical chairs.
He was released in August of 2019, re-signed in October, released in November, re-signed in December, had his contract expire at the end of the year, re-signed again in April, released in September, and spent the 2020 season bouncing between the active roster and practice squad.
Johnson's roster status became a running gag among 49ers faithful, but he still managed to play in 14 games in 2020 and even made three starts as San Francisco battled numerous injuries.
To his credit, he actually played some of the best football of his career finishing with a 67.7 PFF grade that was the highest of his career.
Sobleski argued that Johnson's experience with new head coach Robert Saleh could lead to the Jets making a move to acquire the San Francisco cornerback.
But at 29-years-old, Johnson is little more than a roster bubble player. It's unlikely the Jets would give up anything more than a swap of future draft picks, if that.
If the Jets are going to make a veteran cornerback addition this summer, they could probably do better than a journeyman special teamer who likely won't even make his team's roster.