Jets fans clamored for a playmaker on offense all offseason. It looked like they were going to land that player on Tuesday when Chris Johnson visited the facility and met with head coach Rex Ryan and management.
But a team source tells Metro that although Johnson left without putting pen to paper the Jets are still “very much in it” with the player.
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The 28-year-old running back attended Tuesday night's Nets-Knicks game and spoke with the Daily News about the meeting.
“I'm just taking it one day at a time, taking my time and whatever decision I make it'll be the best decision,” Johnson said.
Johnson, who was cut by the Titans in the first week of April, could be a dynamic addition to the offense. A former first-round pick, the speedy Johnson is set to enter his seventh year in the league. He is an ideal fit for the West Coast offense as he is a good pass-catching option out of the backfield.
The team source said “a contract was offered to Chris that was attractive and certainly at his value.” But the Jets knew all along that Johnson was a longshot to sign today, as the team source said he wanted to test his value on the market.
On Tuesday morning, the team source informed Metro that between the Jets and Johnson, interest was “mutually high between both parties” and nothing has changed since Johnson left the team facility. The package offered to the player was a multi-year deal, the source said.
As for if he will be a featured back, the Jets made it clear he will be “part of a backfield that shares carries.” But it was made clear to Johnson “he would get the ball in the offense and would be utilized in the right way.”
Now, the Jets are left to await Johnson's other visits to see if one of his other suitors overpays for his services.
“The team knows what it is willing to spend on him,” the source said. “As has been done all season, we won't overspend. We will stick to what is right for us to do that gives flexibility now and for the future. The Jets put together a convincing package on Tuesday to him, on and off the field. Now it is up to him. Everyone is on the same page on this, from ownership down to Rex and [general manager] John [Idzik]. This offseason has been about cohesion, not just in the locker room but in the front office. Everyone is really comfortable with what happened today.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.