Jets move quickly to sign Johnson

While New York Jets general manager John Idzik had come in for criticism for his perceived lack of activity this off-season, that all changed the minute Chris Johnson became available. The former 2,000-yard running run back had only been in the free agency for 11 days before Idzik managed to convince him to move to New York on a two-year deal worth $8 million with an addition $1 million in additional bonuses during the two years.

Johnson is coming off the back of relatively disappointing season in which he rushed for 1.077 yards, scoring 10 touchdowns on a career-low 3.9 yards-per-carry average – but the Jets wasted little time in moving to sign the 28-year old and adding him to their power-running offense. Johnson underwent knee surgery on a torn meniscus at the end of last season but has been passed fit enough to return to full pre-season training with his new team-mates.

With many people writing off Johnson after last season, the running back has made it clear he is determined to make the most of this opportunity in New York and prove the many doubters wrong in the process.

“I have a fresh start. Now I am going to go out there with a chip on my shoulder. I know a lot of people are doubting me. I want to prove everybody wrong who has doubts in me,” said Johnson.

The bet365 odds may be giving the Jets much hope of making the playoffs this season, but betting fans would do well to reserve their final judgement on this Jets team’s hopes this year until nearer the start of the season. New York head coach Rex Ryan oversaw an improvement in results last year and has more than enough talent in this squad to be able to finish this season with a winning record for the first time since 2010.

While Johnson may not be the same runner as he was back in 2009, the three-time Pro Bowler still has plenty to offer a New York team that puts most of its focus into having a run-focused offensive unit, with Geno Smith now expected to win the quarterback battle with Michael Vick. Johnson joins a running back division containing Chris Ivory, Bilal Powell and Mike Goodson, but there is still plenty of time for the roster to take a significantly different look before now and the beginning of the season.

In what will be his seventh professional season, Johnson has never finished a campaign without breaking 1,000 yards rushing, and the Jets will be hoping their new arrival can continue that record this year. While Johnson is an ideal signing New York, coach Ryan will be aware that he needs to manage the running back, both physically and mentally, if he is going to get the best out of his new man. And with an in-form Johnson at his disposal, Ryan will be confident of surprising the odds and leading the Jets back into the playoffs.

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