FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – It’s looking like Trumaine Johnson will be watching from the sideline again.
Johnson was benched for most of Monday’s game after a rough performance the prior week against Buffalo. The high-priced cornerback needs to re-earn the trust of a Jets coaching staff that believed he would play well after reuniting with defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.
“It just hasn’t worked out as well as we need it to,” head coach Adam Gase said Wednesday. “The good thing is we got a long ways to go.”
Nate Hairston started for Johnson and played well against the Browns. Johnson made his first appearance with 3:27 left after Hairston cramped up at the end of the game. The Jets could stick with Daryl Roberts and Hairston as the starting corners Sunday against the Patriots with Brian Poole as the nickel corner.
“I thought the guys did a good job last week,” Gase said. “Our corners weren’t our problem last game.”
Johnson signed a five-year, $72.5-million contract with the Jets in 2018 and has not played up to that hefty salary. He missed five games last season because of an injury, was benched for the final game for being late to meetings, and he struggled in coverage.
His best seasons came with the Rams when Williams was the coordinator. The Jets were optimistic Williams could bring out the best in Johnson again, but it hasn’t happened yet. All spots are earned under Gase, who doesn’t take into account a player’s salary.
“That’s irrelevant to me,” he said. “I don’t care how much money you make."
Johnson’s $8 million salary this year is guaranteed. He’s owed the full amount if he’s cut, and his salary and performance make him difficult to trade.
When Gase was asked what he needs to see from Johnson this week, he said. “Go out and have a good week of practice. Every week is start over and we want everybody to practice the way that we need them to practice and get ready for this game. Whatever the inactives are or how ever we do the depth chart it starts over every week.”