The New York Jets will reportedly cut veteran cornerback Trumaine Johnson ahead of the upcoming 2020 campaign.
The new league year hasn’t even begun yet, and the New York Jets are already reportedly saying goodbye to one of their defensive backs.
According to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, the Jets will release cornerback Trumaine Johnson. Mehta reports it will occur before the free agency period commences (March 18 at 4:00 p.m. ET), the exact same time the new league year will begin. Johnson’s 2020 salary ($11 million) will be guaranteed in full on the third day of the new year, so the Jets want to avoid giving up that pile of cash.
Johnson thus only played out two years of what was a signed five-year contract. The deal was worth $72.5 million and was inked prior to the 2018 campaign after he played six years with the Rams (both in St. Louis and Los Angeles).
Johnson played in just 17 of a possible 32 games with the Jets. In seven contests this past year, he recorded 25 combined tackles, one pick, and two passes defended. He had 40 total tackles, four interceptions, and five passes defended in 10 games the year prior.
His troubles this past season were due to an ankle injury. The Jets obviously feel a certain way about his availability issues, being that they don’t see him as a worthy asset moving forward.
So who could be Johnson’s replacement? Luckily for New York, there are a number of cornerbacks in this upcoming free-agent class.
The Jets could certainly be in the running to land Dallas Cowboys cornerback Byron Jones. The five-year pro made his first Pro Bowl in 2018 and has put together a multitude of solid campaigns. In 2019, Jones racked up 46 combined tackles with six passes defended through 15 games.
Chris Harris Jr. may also be a target. The four-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro has spent his entire nine-year career with the Denver Broncos after initially going undrafted. His price tag could be a little less than what Jones may be worth. Harris experienced a down year in 2019 (no Pro Bowl nod nor All-Pro selection) and will turn 31 prior to the start of the 2020 season.