8:47am: Mehta tweets that he would be “very surprised” if the Jets don’t end up signing Johnson.
8:21am: We’ve been hearing since even before Chris Johnson was released by the Titans earlier this month that the Jets were expected to be a serious suitor for the veteran running back, and it appears as if New York will get the first chance to sign him. Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (via Twitter) that Johnson is visiting the Jets today, according to team sources who spotted him at the club’s facility. Several other reporters have since confirmed that account.
Word of Johnson’s visit comes on the heels of a report from Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, which suggested that the Jets were one of a handful of teams still interested in the ex-Titan. New York reportedly views Johnson as a nice potential complement for incumbent running back Chris Ivory. Mehta adds (via Twitter) that three clubs, including the Jets, appear to be seriously in the mix for the 28-year-old at this point.
The former 2,000-yard rusher has now been on the market for more than a week, and the rumor mill has been relatively quiet. That may stem from the fact that Johnson, who earned $10MM last season, views his value significantly differently than the rest of the league. No free agent running backs this offseason received more than $3.5MM in guaranteed money.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk speculated yesterday that Johnson may find a home within the next few days, since teams will soon be shifting all their attention to the draft and won’t want to continue negotiating with free agents leading up to May 8.