AFC Notes: Jets, Steelers, Ravens, Broncos

The Jets have “massive buyer’s remorse” after signing cornerback Trumaine Johnson a five-year, $72.5MM deal last offseason, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. Johnson, who had been franchise-tagged by the Rams in both 2016 and 2017, is now the NFL’s second-highest paid corner behind only Josh Norman. While he may not have played like a No. 1 CB last season, Johnson’s numbers were much improved from 2017. After ranking as Pro Football Focus‘ No. 60 corner in 2017, Johnson finished 24th in PFF’s grades last year. Football Outsiders, meanwhile, ranked Johnson as a bottom-10 corner in success rate in 2017, but 30th in 2018. Gang Green can’t realistically exit the Johnson contract until after the 2019 campaign.

Here’s more from around the AFC:

  • The Steelers appear set to explore the trade market for wide receiver Antonio Brown, but the return for the superstar may not be as lucrative as Pittsburgh hopes. Tom Pelissero of (video link) surveyed multiple NFL executives and reached the conclusion that the Steelers are likely to receive something in the neighborhood of a third-round pick in exchange for Brown. While he’s still among the NFL’s best pass-catchers, Brown is heading into his age-31 season and will be due north of $15MM in 2019. Additionally, it’s fair to wonder if some rival clubs are skeptical of Brown given his recent off-field antics. Earlier today, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert made it clear that he won’t simply give Brown away.
  • Speaking of embattled Steelers, kicker Chris Boswell is likely to face competition in training camp following a down 2018 campaign, as Colbert indicated to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Twitter link). Boswell only converted 65% of his field goal attempts last season, a percentage that ranked him 30th among kickers. He’s due a $2MM roster bonus on March 15, and the Steelers are presumably willing to pay that total given that Colbert says Boswell will be at training camp.
  • Cornerback Jimmy Smith could be a potential cap casualty as the Ravens move forward this offseason, per Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic. Smith is scheduled to count for nearly $16MM on Baltimore’s salary cap in 2019 (the highest figure on the club and second-highest among NFL corners), is now 30 years old, and has missed 13 games over the past three season due to injuries and a suspension. The Ravens have plenty of cornerback depth to withstand the loss of Smith (Brandon Carr, Marlon Humphrey, Tavon Young), but he’s still playing at a high level.
  • The Broncos have begun negotiations with offensive lineman Billy Turner, and he may be the sole member of Denver’s unrestricted free agent class that will reach an agreement before the start of the new league year, writes Mike Klis of 9News. A former third-round pick of the Dolphins, Turner signed for $2MM last offseason and should receive a salary bump this year. He played 76% of the Broncos’ offensive snaps a year ago, and could return either as a starter or a valuable reserve in 2019.
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7 comments on “AFC Notes: Jets, Steelers, Ravens, Broncos

  1. kenleyfornia2

    The whole point of the Jets overpaying for Tru was they had tons of cap room. What more could you expect he was pretty solid.

    • bravesfan88

      Right, I don’t get why they’d have any buyer’s remorse…Plus, he’s getting better, so it would seem to reason, he could be even better next season. I mean, other than Adams, who else on this roster is going to grow with their secondary…Those two, plus Maye, Williams, Williamson, Jenkins, Lee, and idk maybe Roberts…They are the foundation of this Jets Defense moving forward..They should be thrilled about having Johnson, Maye, and Adams all to grow and gel with one another, that’s how you build a solid secondary..

  2. Begamin

    They should have playbook remorse with Johnson. Not pressing with the press coverage guy? Might as well tell your pass rusher to sit back

  3. crosseyedlemon

    If the Jets front office has buyer remorse how do you think the fans who have bought season tickets the past few years feel?

  4. mgrap84

    Im a huge Jimmy Smith fan but i think its time he is let go. Has had to much trouble staying healthy and this year broke down in coverage way to much and to many penalties. Maybe change in scenery will snap him out of it but who knows

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