If you've been paying attention I actually have been talking about the Jets interest in, and overall need for players with game-breaking speed: Although I had been referring to incoming rookies such as Marqise Lee, Odell Beckham, or Brandin Cooks.
But Chris Johnson is the definition of breakaway speed. Sure he may not be CJ2K any longer, but with Chris Ivory in the fold, along with Bilal Powell who is not someone to be ignored, the Jets could have a scary backfield next season.
Chris Johnson is in a class that includes Barry Sanders, Curtis Martin, and Eric Dickerson as one of the only players in NFL history to rush for over 1,000 yards in each of his first 6 seasons. In those first 6 seasons he has already rushed for nearly 8,000 yards, most in the NFL, and has gained a reputation for being football's version of a home-run hitter.
Chris Johnson is the only player in NFL history to have 6 touchdowns for 80 yards or more. He is also the only player in the leagues history to have a 50 yard touchdown, a 60 yard touchdown, and an 80 yard touchdown, all in one game.
Break. Away. Speed.
But maybe even more impressively, this man can catch!
He's caught 42 or more catches in all but one of his 6 seasons as a Tennessee Titan, including three seasons of catching 50 passes or more. The Jets so desperately needed a receiver coming out of the backfield for Geno Smith, Michael Vick, or whomever the quarterback may be, which was something that was lacking during last year's 8-8 campaign. While Johnson has put some gaudy numbers up at his time in Tennessee, he likely won't necessarily perform at a higher level in New York while turning 29 in September.
But with Chris Ivory, he won't need to.
The Jets aren't relying on Chris Johnson to be "CJ2K," nor are they requiring him to be an elite running back. Chris Ivory won the starting spot last year at running back for this organization, and when he finally hit his stride he became one of the more productive backs in the AFC; rushing for 718 yards over the final 10 games of the season, which was top 5 in the conference. Albeit unlikely, this is a combination that can gain a combined 2,000 yards on the ground, and with Johnson's dynamic receiving ability he would likely be relied upon to be the premier all-purpose back, but rest assured, Ivory will be a key component moving forward.
This is a potential lightning and thunder combination, which is something that the New York Jets have not had in place since...
And as said previously, Bilal Powell is not someone to be ignored. Powell completes a backfield that can turn into a legitimate three-headed monster in this league. Powell started 11 of the 16 games in which he played in last season, and racked up nearly 700 yards on the ground, and in addition to that he received 36 passes which was good for 272 yards; nearly 1,000 all-purpose yards in case you're keeping score at home.
Chris Johnson's deal is a 1 year deal worth $4 million, with an option for 2015 which is worth an extra $4 million, plus another $1 in incentives. This is the speed guy in the backfield that the Jets so desperately needed, and has a good set of hands to boot, in contrast to Chris Ivory who has a career total of 5 receptions. However, Ivory's job will only get easier as he continues to provide the pound in a ground & pound rushing attack; breaking tackles, drawing contact, trucking defenders up the middle, this is what he does. Finally, Bilal Powell is not someone to just gloss over in this scenario. In the unfortunate event that Johnson or Ivory go down with any sort of injury, Powell is a guy who is more than capable of picking up where the team left off, and he will ultimately be the third man in this three headed monster, a monster that could collectively provide a league leading rushing attack when all is said and done.
Did I stutter?