One of the NFL's top running backs is now on the free-agent market. The Titans released three-time Pro Bowler Chris Johnson Friday, effectively ending his career in Tennessee. He was due to earn $8 million in base salary this season, but the Titans saved $6 million in salary-cap room by releasing him.
Johnson, 28, is arguably the league's fastest back. He's rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of his six seasons, including 2,006 yards in 2009. His speed and shiftiness would be a nice complement to the Jets' No. 1 back, Chris Ivory, known for his punishing style.
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The Titans had hoped to trade Johnson but instead were forced to release him and get nothing in return. According to an ESPN report, the Jets, Dolphins, Bills and Falcons discussed the possibility of trading for Johnson. The Giants, Rams and Cowboys also have needs at running back.
If the Giants are concerned about the availability of David Wilson (neck), they could view Johnson as a nice addition alongside recently signed Rashad Jennings. Meanwhile, there are questions in Dallas about the durability of DeMarco Murray, so owner Jerry Jones might go after him.
The Jets certainly are interested, but how much money is general manager John Idzik willing to spend? The Jets have plenty of money available ($26.9 million under the cap) and 12 draft picks. But they chose not to go after Darrelle Revis and DeSean Jackson -- premier players at their positions -- and lost out to the Giants on cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
If the Jets do acquire Johnson, he'd be expected to work in tandem with another running back, something he hasn't been too keen about.
"I have never been a big fan of the two-back system, so I don't know how we plan on using him," Johnson said last offseason shortly after the Titans signed former Jet Shonn Greene to a three-year, $10-million deal. "You don't give a guy that kind of money to be just a goal-line guy and in tough-yardage situations. So we'll see what happens."
In 2013, Johnson rushed for 1,077 yards and six touchdowns on 279 carries and caught 42 passes for 345 yards and four touchdowns.
Giants sign TE Davis
Free-agent tight end Kellen Davis, who most recently played for the Seahawks, has signed with the Giants.
The 6-7, 265-pound Davis is the fifth player to sign with the Giants from a team that played in Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium in February (three Broncos, two Seahawks). Davis had three catches in 15 games in 2013. His 19 catches for 229 yards for the Bears in 2012 were career highs.
The Giants also announced the signing of free-agent receiver Travis Harvey, an undrafted rookie with the Titans last year who was released in training camp.