The New York Jets made their first big splash of free agency by signing Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson to a 15 million dollar per year contract. A few thoughts…
1 – Yes, this was pricey but the Jets are paying a tax for their situation. They have no quarterback of the future (yet), an underdeveloped roster and haven’t made the playoffs in seven years, you create cap space to be able to afford players like this. Johnson is a legitimate lead corner, who will make life easier for the Jets top two draft picks last year: Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye. Cornerback was a position of desperate need for the Jets and they added the top player on the market. It is okay to overpay sometimes.
2 – Johnson’s PFF metrics were not terrific last year (35/86 in opponent’s completion percentage) but he was regularly matched up on opposing team’s top wide receiver. There have been flashes of inconsistency at times but he has held up well over the past few years in a lead corner role and was one of the top players on arguably the league’s best defense last season.
3 – Johnson has prototypical size to play on the outside (6’2, 205 pounds) and has a nose for the football. He has 18 interceptions and 3 fumble recoveries over his 6 year career, including a 7 interception season back in 2015. He also played in at least 14 games in 5 of his 6 NFL seasons, so the durability is there.
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