Free agent cornerback Trumaine Johnson will sign with the New York Jets, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Going into the offseason, Johnson was considered one of the top cornerbacks on the market, but it is a market that saw significant activity prior to the official start of free agency.
That is to say, both Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib were traded, while Richard Sherman, Vontae Davis, and David Amerson became available and signed with new teams. Johnson hasn’t reached the highs as some of those players, but he’s been a very solid coverage corner.
Solid enough to receive a deal expected to be in the range of $15 million per year, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
He has also made an awful lot of money over the past two years because the Los Angeles Rams have been hesitant to let him go, giving him the franchise tag in both 2016 and 2017, for a two-year total of over $30 million. They didn’t put together a long-term deal for him, trading for Peters and Talib, as mentioned above.
Now 28 years old, Johnson will be playing for his second NFL team when he joins the Jets.
What is New York getting in Johnson?
Johnson is a tall, rangy cornerback who doesn’t make many big mistakes, but also doesn’t pull down a large amount of interceptions. He had a stellar seven of them in 2015, but had just one and two in 2016 and 2017, respectively. He doesn’t get talked about much during games, and while that means he’s not making huge plays, he’s also not getting burned regularly.
Pro Football Focus has Johnson allowing just one touchdown in 932 snaps in 2017, while picking off two passes and defending nine others. They have opposing quarterbacks posting a 79.8 passer rating throwing against Johnson in 2017.
The Jets invested heavily in the secondary a year ago by drafting Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye, but the cornerback position still needed work. It’s suddenly in a much better place with Johnson added to the fold.
Are there any concerns?
There aren’t many, other than potential over-payment given the past two years of the franchise tag and Johnson’s potential expectations. He’s young enough to be worth a big deal, though. Since he became a full-time starter in 2014, he has dealt with a few injuries, playing in just nine games in 2014, and missing two games in both 2015 and 2016.
Last season, though, Johnson played in all 16 regular-season games, and there is no reason to expect he’ll do anything but that in 2018 as well.