Why the Jets should sign Chris Johnson

By Max Marcilla

The Jets have looked to improve an offense that finished 29thin scoring in 2013 only in front of the Buccaneers, Texans, and Jaguars. They immediately addressed the need for a wide receiver by signing Eric Decker, and shortly after, the Jets signed tackle Breno Giacomini to a 4-year contract.
Earlier today, the Titans released former pro-bowl running back Chris Johnson, and the Jets are reported to be interested.
The Jets acquired a running back last season when they traded a fourth-round pick to New Orleans for Chris Ivory. The trade turned out to be a big success for New York. Ivory immediately became a fan favorite for his fearless, ground and pound style of running. In 15 games this year, Ivory rushed for 833 yards and three touchdowns.
Ivory runs up the middle, trucks over everyone in his path, and is a massive man for the tailback position. Aside from the dreadlocks that both men possess, Ivory and Johnson couldn’t be more different – and that is why they would work.
Johnson is a 203-pound back, with explosive speed, tremendous catching ability, and an overall game changer.
Just four seasons removed from a 2,000-yard season, Johnson can still be a valuable piece to an NFL offense, especially when paired up with the right back. The last two seasons have been disappointing for the Titans and Johnson, as he failed to put up the numbers that were expected by Tennessee following his $53.5 million contract extension he signed in 2011. After rushing for 11 touchdowns in 2010, Johnson scored a total of 16 rushing touchdowns in his three seasons since signing the extension.
Now, Johnson is at the stage in his career where he is no longer a star back, but can make a big impact on a team. Johnson hasn’t missed a game in five years, and has rushed for at least 1,000 yards in each of those seasons. With Ivory being an injury-prone back, having Johnson take the workload off of him would help both players excel. He would be a perfect fit for the Jets.
The Jets have a power running back in Ivory, a young quarterback who needs a security blanket in Geno Smith, and an above-average offensive line highlighted by pro-bowlers Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson. Johnson would be immediately thrust into an offense that would allow him to showcase his abilities at an elite level.
In addition to being around all the right players, the Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg has experience with pass-catching backs. Prior to joining Gang Green, Mornhinweg was the offensive coordinator in Philadelphia, where he worked with LeSean McCoy, and retired running back Brian Westbrook.
Mornhinweg worked with McCoy for each of his first four seasons, and the tandem showed off tremendous success. McCoy showed his first flashes of brilliance as a pass catcher in his second pro season, where he caught 78 balls for nearly 600 yards and two touchdowns. Currently, McCoy is a top-tier running back in the NFL, and arguably the best pass catching back.
While his best seasons are behind him, Johnson is still an explosive playmaker. He proved that this past season by catching four touchdown passes.
The key to the deal, as it usually is with Idzik, is price.
Idzik is known as a general manager who does not want to overspend for players, and would rather miss out on a player or two than pay more than he thinks he is worth. If Chris Johnson and the Jets organization can agree to a deal in the range that Idzik would like, there is no denying that this deal has a good possibility of working.

A move to acquire Chris Johnson will give the Jets another weapon in their offense, and help the Jets continue on their path to being consistently competitive.

About Max Marcilla

Max is a sophomore broadcast journalism major at the University of Maryland. He is the news director for WMUC Sports, a reporter for The Left Bench TV and the co-owner of New York Jet Fuel, a site dedicated to covering the New York Jets. You can contact Max at mmarcilla98@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @MMarcilla98.

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