What’s Next for the Jets After Releasing Trumaine Johnson?
Sep 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams (33) and cornerback Trumaine Johnson (22) celebrate during the second half against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
The Jets officially parted ways with one of their more expensive players on Monday morning. Veteran 30-year-old cornerback Trumaine Johnson was designated as a post-June 1 cut, allowing the Jets to spread out the dead cap over the next two years.
The Jets had to forfeit $15 million to Johnson but will spread out the $12 million of bonus money in the next two seasons.
The former Los Angeles Rams cornerback’s five-year, $72.5 million deal with the Jets never really panned out and was fairly harmful to former general manager Mike Maccagnan’s tenure with the Jets.
By parting ways with one of their most wasteful contracts in team history, the Jets will now have almost no contracts left from the pre-Joe Douglas era.
Now that Johnson is gone, the Jets will gain some very useful cap space in the form of $12 million. In 2020, Johnson’s release will save $4 million. However, 2021 will welcome $8 million in savings.
With Johnson’s extra cap space, the Jets now can get a little fancy with the final few holes in a wide open AFC East. The Jets were reportedly close to a contract with cornerback Logan Ryan but nothing has come to fruition yet. They were also interested in Jadeveon Clowney but failed to sign him.
The New Orleans Saints released star lineman Larry Warford, so perhaps the Jets would be wise to look into signing him.
The Jets may also have a chance to work on extensions with some of their younger stars like Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye.
It should be a priority for the Jets to address the cornerback position as the lack of star depth there is the only missing hole in what has the potential to be a top-10 defense. The Jets currently boast one of the best safety corps in the league with Adams, Maye, and Ashtyn Davis while they also boast a fairly good linebacking unit that contains Jordan Jenkins, C.J. Mosley, Avery Williamson, and Patrick Onwuasor.
Another route could be to even out the defense and improve the interior with Jadeveon Clowney, who would truly balance out an underrated Jets defense and help put their name on the map as a scary defense to play against.