Jets sign former Titans RB Chris Johnson

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 16, 2014 at 4:23 pm •  Published: April 16, 2014
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NEW YORK (AP) — Always fast on the field, Chris Johnson found a new job pretty quickly, too.

The New York Jets signed the former Titans running back Wednesday, a little over a week after he was officially released by Tennessee on April 7.

Johnson met with the Jets all day Tuesday — the first team he visited — and stayed in town to watch the Knicks-Nets game in Brooklyn before signing Wednesday. The Jets announced the move, but didn't release terms.

In a text message to The Associated Press, Johnson confirmed it was a two-year deal.

Johnson was told by the Titans of their decision April 4, ending a six-year stint in Tennessee during which he became one of the NFL's most exciting and tantalizingly fast running backs. The former 2,000-yard rusher will team with Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell to give coach Rex Ryan and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg a deep and dangerous backfield.

The Jets also have Mike Goodson, who is dealing with legal issues and recovering from torn knee ligaments, and Alex Green.

While his days as a workhorse running back — he carried the ball over 300 times in each of the 2009 and 2010 seasons — might be over, Johnson could be the perfect complement to the bruising Ivory and versatile Powell. In Mornhinweg's first season as offensive coordinator, the Jets finished sixth in the league in rushing last year with Ivory and Powell sharing the load.

Despite the solid production, New York still entered the offseason aiming to improve the position with a big-play runner.

That's exactly what they're getting in the speedy and durable Johnson, who turns 29 in September and is only the sixth player to rush for 1,000 yards in each of his first six seasons. But there have been questions about whether he'll ever be the same player who rushed for 2,006 yards in 2009, when he earned his "CJ2K" nickname.

Johnson finished with 1,077 yards — the second-lowest total of his career — and a career-worst 3.9-yard average last season. He also rushed for 100 or more yards just twice, including the regular-season finale in which he had 127 yards to go over the 1,000-yard mark.

The Jets held Johnson to just 21 yards on 15 carries in their 38-13 loss last season at Tennessee, but Johnson gouged them for 122 yards on 21 carries, including a career-best 94-yard touchdown run, in 2012.

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