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Jets Sign Free Agent RB Chris Johnson

Posted Apr 16, 2014

CJ2K Says When He Woke Up Today, ‘I Just Felt Like It Was the Right Situation’

Updated, 4:47 p.m. ET

Chris Johnson said after he spent Tuesday visiting with owner Woody Johnson, general manager John Idzik and head coach Rex Ryan at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center, he had to sleep on a big decision for his football future.

"And when I woke up this morning," he said, "I knew it was going to be the Jets."

Johnson, a.k.a. CJ2K, the free agent running back who ran for 2,006 yards in 2009 for the Tennessee Titans, returned to the Jets' facility today to sign his contract to join the Green & White.

"I've always been a big fan of the Jets," he told Eric Allen and me this afternoon in Woody Johnson's suite. "There was some thought into this, but just at the end of the day, I was comfortable here. I just felt like it was the right situation."

Johnson accomplished much in his six seasons with the Titans. He has 1,742 carries for 7,965 yards (4.6-yard avg.) and 50 touchdowns. He's also an excellent receiver out of the backfield with 272 catches for 2,003 yards (7.4-yard avg.) and eight TDs.

"I think I'm going to fit in pretty well," he said of his role in coordinator Marty Mornhinweg's West Coast offense. "Just talking to him and to Rex, who's a guy that likes to run the ball, I think I'm going to fit in very well. We talked about all those things, catching out of the backfield, getting the ball to me in space."

With six 1,000-yard rushing seasons in his six years, Johnson remains on pace for the NFL record for most consecutive 1,000-yard seasons from the start of a career, held by Barry Sanders with the Lions and Curtis Martin with the Jets with 10 straight seasons each.

Among the league records and distinctions that Johnson holds:

■ His 2009 season marked the sixth time a running back had rushed for 2,000 yards in NFL history, and he's now one of only seven who have reached that milestone.

■ Johnson's 2,509 yards from scrimmage that year broke Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk's record of 2,429 yards set in 1999 and remains the league record.

■ He is the only player in NFL history with six touchdown runs of 80 yards and the only player in league history with four TD runs of 85 yards.

Johnson joins a Jets backfield that put together a strong 2013 season to finish sixth in the NFL in rushing yards/game and 10th in yards/carry. Fifth-year RB Chris Ivory compiled a career-high 833 yards on 182 carries and fourth-year back Bilal Powell also had a career high with 697 yards on 176 carries. Also on our roster at RB now are Mike Goodson and Alex Green.

"Those guys, I've seen them play. They're some tough backs," he said. "I'm just hoping to come in and create a situation that helps the team win."

Johnson also said he likes the offensive line with ninth-year fixtures D'Brickashaw Ferguson at left tackle and Nick Mangold at center. "Those are good guys up front," he said. "That was something big in my decision."

One concern for Jets followers is Johnson's health, but he assured everyone that his rehab from surgery for the torn meniscus that he played on for most of last season is "getting better and better each week." Asked if he's still the 4.24-seconds-in-the-40 guy he was at the 2008 NFL Combine, he replied with his CJ2K smile, "I'm coming off knee surgery but once I continue my rehab and get back in the lineup, I'm still a 4.2 guy."

As for his change of teams and divisions in the seventh year of his NFL career, he sounded happy to join the J-E-T-S.

"I see this as a team on the rise," Johnson said. "This is a winning team. They didn't make the playoffs last year but I think they were a game out of the playoffs with a rookie quarterback. So I feel like this is a team that can do some good things."

THE 2,000-YARD CLUB
Player, Team   Season   Rush Yards
Eric Dickerson, LRM 1984 2,105
Adrian Peterson, MIN 2012 2,097
Jamal Lewis, BAL 2003 2,066
Barry Sanders, DET 1997 2,053
Terrell Davis, DEN 1998 2,008
Chris Johnson, TEN 2009 2,006
O.J. Simpson, BUF 1973 2,003
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