Trumaine Johnson is in Year Two of a five-year, $72.5MM deal. And the Jets do not believe that he loves the sport of football, sources tell Manish Mehta of the Daily News. This is, perhaps, an indication that a divorce could be just around the corner, even though it would be costly for Gang Green.
Johnson, for his part, says he’s still committed to being the best player he can be.
“Of course I love football,” Johnson said. “I’ve been doing it all my life. I’m passionate about it. It’s my life. It’s not a job to me. I love what I do.”
For what it’s worth, Johnson showed more passion in his response than head coach Adam Gase did when explaining why he benched Johnson for the bulk of Monday night’s loss to the Browns.
“We just decided not to play him,” said Gase.
Johnson, a breakout star with the Rams, has also been held back by injuries during his Jets tenure. Johnson missed five games last year due to a lingering quad injury and some Jets officials feel that he could have played through the injury, Mehta hears. It’s also worth noting that Johnson missed another game due to a suspension for tardiness.
Johnson, 29, is signed through 2022. Releasing him now would saddle the Jets with $24MM in dead money, with no cap benefit. The Jets could consider cutting ties with Johnson after this season, prior to his $11MM base salary becoming fully guaranteed on the third day of the league year. That move would save the Jets $3MM against the cap, but would still leave them with $12MM in dead money.
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