One visit was all Chris Johnson needed to find his next NFL team. Johnson reached an agreement Wednesday with the New York Jets on a two-year contract worth a total of $8 million. Johnson comes to the Jets after spending six seasons in Tennessee where he became one of the game's best running backs. He topped 2,000 rushing yards in 2009 and although he never came close to repeating such lofty feats, he did reach 1,000 yards ever year. He was cut by the Titans earlier this month.
How bad has the market been for RBs this year? Johnson's $4 million annual average value is the most of any free-agent running back. He was the best such player on the market, but teams just aren't paying much for runners. It's also half of what he was scheduled to make with the Titans in 2014 before they released him.
Much like what's happening in Detroit with Reggie Bush, Johnson was once a marquee back, but he will probably be sharing a large amount of carries with someone else. In New York, that's Chris Ivory , who signed a three-year deal with the Jets in 2013. His hard-charging, inside-the-tackles style should complement Johnson's perimeter speed well. We'll see what Rex Ryan has to say on that subject, but some sort of timeshare is a good bet here. I'm sure that won't make Johnson happy, but it's the smart move for him at this point his in career. Johnson can still be very productive, especially if the Jets use him in space as a receiver, but I think he is outside of the RB1 range.