AFC Links: Johnson, Forsett, Spiller, Richardson

The Jets declined the option on Chris Johnson earlier today, making him a free agent this offseason. Johnson played only one year in New York, and his release will save the team $3.5MM on the 2015 cap. Johnson figures to be available for even less than the two-year, $8MM contract he signed last offseason, but should be able to find work somewhere.

Here are some links surrounding AFC running backs this offseason:

  • Johnson was reportedly reluctant to consider the Ravens last offseason despite some interest from the organization, due to the presence of Ray Rice on the roster, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter). With his value another year diminished and no starting running back on the roster, he might reconsider Baltimore this time around. Of course, the team will likely try to keep revelation Justin Forsett (via Twitter). While the offense will likely change without Gary Kubiak at the helm, new offensive coordinator Marc Trestman is expected to keep the zone blocking scheme in place (via Twitter).
  • With Johnson out of the picture, the Jets could target Bills’ former first-round draft pick C.J. Spiller, writes Rich Cimini of Chan Gailey was the head coach in Buffalo when Spiller was drafted, and Spiller experienced some of his best success in limited snaps early on there. He could be a great complement to Chris Ivory.
  • Trent Richardson had a tumultuous end to the 2014 season to say the least, and Matt Bowen of Bleacher Report wonders if he can be fixed. Bowen notes that scouts still swear by Richardson’s college tape. Bowen quotes two scouts as saying he was the best running back they ever graded at the college level. Still, he believes the former third overall pick needs to set new goals for himself in order for him to stay in the league long enough to change his image.
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