The New York Jets might not have landed the big-name quarterback they were angling for, but they will sign one of the best corners available.
Trumaine Johnson will sign with the Jets when free agency opens on Wednesday. The reported money is for an average of $15 million per year, which would put Johnson right near the top of the position along with Washington's Josh Norman.
It's a big addition for a secondary that started taking steps forward with the drafting of Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye but one that still needed a top cover man after allowing 30 touchdown passes last season.
Although Johnson has been a little inconsistent the past two seasons, he filled a big role for the Los Angeles Rams. At 6-foot-2, he can handle press coverage and check bigger receivers. The Jets really only have one other quality corner on the roster currently, and Buster Skrine appears to be ideally suited for nickel duty inside. They still could re-sign Morris Claiborne, as well.
The Jets entered the week with a league-high $90 million in salary-cap space and no high-end free agents of their own to take care of. Re-signing Josh McCown was a solid move, and they still could land Teddy Bridgewater. They also have signed running back Isaiah Crowell.
But getting Johnson solves a crucial void for Todd Bowles' defense. Was it expensive? Absolutely — especially for a player who has only three interceptions in his past 31 games and who has battled myriad injuries over his six-year career.
That said, the Rams had franchised Johnson each of the past two seasons, which clearly showed how they valued him before the price tag got too unwiedly. Bowles and defensive coordinator Kacey Rodgers badly needed that kind of length and talent on the outside, which is why the price tag was so considerable.