Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Johnson completes visit, no deal
By Rich Cimini
Free-agent running back Chris Johnson began Tuesday in New Jersey, visiting with the New York Jets. He ended the day in Brooklyn, watching the Brooklyn Nets-New York Knicks game from a courtside seat ... still without a team.
Johnson spoke to a small group of reporters at the game, revealing little about the visit ("everything went well") or about his immediate plans. He indicated he's planning to visit other teams, but he didn't name them. The Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins are said to have interest, but they're obviously not making a mad rush to him.
"I'm just taking it one day at a time, taking my time, and whatever decision I make, it will be the best decision," said Johnson, who received a cheer from the crowd when his face appeared on the JumboTron.
Asked what he likes about the Jets, Johnson said, "You know, I'm just taking it one day at a time. That's all I'm going to say." He said he has no time frame for his decision.
This is a tough time to be a running back without a team. No one in free agency has fetched more than $3.5 million per year, less than half of what Johnson was scheduled to make from the Tennessee Titans. Evidently, the Jets didn't meet his asking price or else he wouldn't have left the building without signing. There's a sense in league circles that Johnson could end up with a deal similar to what quarterback Michael Vick received from the Jets -- one year, $4 million. He's represented by the same agent as Vick, Joel Segal.
Johnson doesn't appear to be in any hurry to sign. The Jets have a genuine interest, but they've become a conservative organization under general manager John Idzik, who refuses to overpay. They prefer to have an answer before the draft, May 8.
Information from Ian Begley was used in this report