The Jets got their big-play threat as running back Chris Johnson signed a multi-year contract with the team on Wednesday.
The team made official the capture of Johnson on Wednesday afternoon, following a meeting with the All-Pro running back at the team's facility the day before. Johnson is one of two big names hauled in by the Jets this offseason. Former Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker signed as a free agent in March.
Metro New York reported on Tuesday Johnson had left the team facility following a meeting with Jets management and had an offer on the table for a multi-year deal. At the time, the team source said “a contract was offered to Chris that was attractive and certainly at his value.”
The New York Daily News reports Johnson signed to a two-year contract. The Jets confirmed the signature late on Wednesday afternoon.
A team source tells Metro the Jets plan to utilize Johnson like they did LaDainian Tomlinson, a free agent who signed with the team in 2010 and rushed for 914 yards in his first season with the Jets.
Given his decline in production last year, including a lack of big plays, the crowded Jets backfield might be a good place to keep Johnson fresh. Chris Ivory performed solidly last year in a battering-ram role, so Johnson could be a good fit as a change of pace. Johnson is known as a home run hitter who hits the hole hard and has explosive speed to turn a routine gain into a touchdown.
Johnson ran for 1,077 yards last season — the second-lowest tally in his six-year career. But the Jets know his big-play ability up close and personal. Johnson unfurled a 94-yard touchdown in a 14-10 win that eliminated the Jets from playoff contention on Dec. 17, 2012.
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.