Released by the New York Jets and almost losing in his life in a drive by shooting, Chris Johnson is now waiting for the right opportunity and team to arrive and sign him. His preferred destination is the Dallas Cowboys, but the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens are also possible landing spots for him.
Johnson’s days as a highly paid, leading franchise running back are over. Not just because of the shoulder injury he received in the shooting which also claimed the life of his friend Dreekius Oricko Johnson who was sitting next to him when the two were in Orlando. The two were on their way to a music studio to check out an artist signed on Johnson’s record label, but a car pulled up next to their jeep and shot at them.
Johnson was injured in the shoulder, and has been working hard to get back in shape. A lot of teams have been monitoring his recovery, but right now, as Johnson refers to it, it’s a “Dead period”. It’s hard to believe that a player with no injury problems in the past and is still quite productive, without the money standing in the way anymore, is going to to find himself out of the league so soon, unless the shoulder injury prevents him from doing so.
Johnson finished with just 663 yards last season, his one and only year with the New York Jets, not picking up their option for a second season. He was on pace to make it to 1000, which he has reached in the previous six seasons (including his 2006 yards in 2009), but got to carry the ball just 155 times, and claims he was lied to by the Jets regarding the role he was going to play for the team.
So where does he end up? The Cowboys are the destination he prefers, and also make sense due to their committee back approach after DeMarco Murray went to Philadelphia. But three backs? Maybe it’s a bit too much, and it’ll take some training camp disappointment and/or injury for Johnson to find his way on the team.
The Baltimore Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs make sense only if their running backs get injured. Both teams, hoping to make the playoffs and more, rely on just one back to do most of the work. Johnson is waiting for training camp to start and for injuries to start piling up in order to free up a space for him.
A back up role without a lot of touches is an issue for Johnson. He wants to play as much as possible, but has also been very vocal and maybe a bit of locker room offsetting in the past when he wasn’t happy. But according to the CBS article we linked to above, he might be changed person after almost losing his life, and is more willing to accept smaller roles and not being the center of attention as he tries to keep his NFL career going.