Jets sign RB Chris Johnson to two-year deal
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The Jets weren't willing to let Chris Johnson test the market any longer.
A day after he completed his visit to Florham Park, the team announced Wednesday that they signed the free-agent running back. A source confirmed to Newsday that the deal is for two years.
Johnson left on Tuesday without a contract, but it didn't take long for the sides to agree to terms. Johnson's two-year deal reportedly has a base value of $8 million, but he can earn $1 million more in incentives.
The 28-year-old was due to earn $8 million from Tennessee in 2014. But when the Titans were unable to secure a trade partner two weeks ago, they released Johnson.
Now, the 2009 All-Pro is eager to prove his former team, and everyone else, wrong.
"I have a fresh start. Now I am going to go out there with a chip on my shoulder," Johnson told The Tennessean by phone, shortly after signing his deal. "I know a lot of people are doubting me. I want to prove everybody wrong who has doubts in me."
He joins a crowded Jets backfield that features Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell. Running back Mike Goodson is still on the roster but is facing weapons charges stemming from a May 2013 arrest in Denville, N.J.
The Jets' offseason training program begins Monday.
When the Titans signed former Jets running back Shonn Greene to a three-year, $10 million free-agent deal last offseason, Johnson expressed frustration at having to share carries. At the time, he proclaimed he's "never been a big fan of the two-back system." But he told the Jets' website that he thinks he'll "fit in pretty well" in offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg's system.
"Just talking to him and to [coach] Rex [Ryan], who's a guy that likes to run the ball, I think I'm going to fit in very well," he said. "We talked about all those things, catching out of the backfield, getting the ball to me in space."
Johnson rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of his six seasons with the Titans, including 2,006 yards in 2009. Last year, he rushed for 1,077 yards and six touchdowns on 279 carries (a career-low 3.9-yard average) and caught 42 passes for 345 yards and four touchdowns while playing with a torn meniscus.
"When I woke up this morning, I knew it was going to be the Jets," Johnson told the team's website. "I've always been a big fan of the Jets. There was some thought into this, but just at the end of the day, I was comfortable here. I just felt like it was the right situation."
Rice passes on Jets. After visiting with the Jets Wednesday, WR Sidney Rice agreed to terms on a one-year deal with his former team, the Seattle Seahawks, a source confirmed to Newsday. Rice, who has a history of knee issues, tore his ACL in October. But on Monday, he tweeted he's been medically cleared to resume football-related activities.