At a time when the running back market had maxed out at $3.5 million per year, Chris Johnson has nudged the bar a little higher.
Per a league source, the two-year contract signed by the new Jets running back has a base value of $8 million. Another $1 million is available in incentives based on yardage.
Given Johnson’s late entry to the market and the ongoing devaluation of the tailback position, it’s a very good deal for Johnson. It’s also a good deal for the Jets. Criticized for not closing the deal with Donald Brown early in free agency, they got a much better player for not much more money than Brown received in San Diego.
So now the Jets have Chris Johnson and Mike Vick on the roster. A couple of years ago, that would have made them Super Bowl contenders. For now, it’s enough to make a team that was 8-8 without those two players a serious threat to bump one of the 2013 wild-card teams to the curb.