The Jets have locked down their shutdown cornerback.
Former Rams star Trumaine Johnson signed a five-year Authentic Josh Manson Jersey , $72.5 million contract on Friday, boosting New York’s improved secondary.
The 28-year-old Johnson, arguably the top free agent at his position, spent his first six seasons with the Rams and had 18 interceptions while establishing himself as one of the best cover cornerbacks in the NFL.
His signing gives Todd Bowles’ defense an unquestioned No. 1 cornerback – and he’ll certainly be paid like one of the league’s best. The deal, which Pro Football Talk first reported included $34 million guaranteed at signing, makes Johnson’s contract one of the biggest in franchise history.
”It’s exciting. I was speechless when I finally gave my agent the green light,” Johnson told the team’s website . ”It’s the Big Apple. New chapter, new beginnings and I get to add to this already great defense.”
Morris Claiborne, who was the Jets’ top cornerback last season, hit free agency but will return to New York on a one-year deal. The sides agreed to a contract late Thursday night.
Johnson and Claiborne will combine with second-year safeties Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye to form one of the most promising secondaries in the league. That comes after New York finished a mediocre 21st in the NFL in pass defense.
Johnson was a third-round pick out of Montana in 2012 and established himself as a solid starter in his second year in the NFL. His breakout season came in 2015 Authentic Ezekiel Elliott Jersey , when he had a career-high seven interceptions.
The Rams used the franchise tag on Johnson the last two offseasons. He posted a farewell to the Rams on his Instagram account Monday , signaling that he would be leaving the team with which he had spent his entire NFL career.
”The last two years, I’ve been tagged,” Johnson told newyorkjets.com. ”It’s my first time going through this process. It’s quite an experience. You lose sleep and your agent is calling you every five minutes. But it worked out and I’m happy to be a Jet.”
On Friday, he posted a note on Instagram signaling his arrival to the Big Apple : ”Landing Soon NYC! (hash)JetWay.” The accompanying photo featured Johnson with the left side of his body in a Rams uniform and the Los Angeles skyline in the background, with the right side in a Jets uniform with the New York City skyline behind him.
Johnson’s man-to-man coverage ability makes him a valuable addition to the Jets, where he will again work with secondary coach Dennard Wilson – the Rams’ defensive quality control coach from 2012-14 and Johnson’s position coach from 2015-16.
”I was with him in St. Louis and two years ago in LA,” Johnson said. ”He’s very passionate about his work and that’s what I love about him. Coach Bowles is here, too, and I am familiar with him. Coast to coast Jonathan Ericsson Jersey , California to New York and it’s going to be fun out here.”
Ezekiel Elliott doesn't pretend that vocal leadership comes naturally for him.
The Dallas Cowboys running back is going to try anyway now that fellow stars Jason Witten and Dez Bryant are gone, and now that his focus is solely on football following a tumultuous second year in the NFL.
Elliott is no longer under investigation by the league over domestic violence allegations that led to a two-month court fight of a six-game suspension he ultimately had to serve starting halfway through last season.
The ban cost him a chance to defend the NFL rushing title he won as a rookie, and helped keep the Cowboys out of the playoffs a year after he and quarterback Dak Prescott, the NFL offensive rookie of the year in 2016, led Dallas to the best record in the NFC.
A quiet offseason reached another benchmark Thursday with the final practice of minicamp. In another six weeks, training camp will be underway in California.
"I think the biggest thing I accomplished is just developing more leadership skills," Elliott said. "That's really what I focused on coming into this year, just becoming a better vocal leader with the loss of Dez and Witt."
Running backs coach Gary Brown has been pushing the idea with Elliott, who is going into his third season after the Cowboys drafted the former Ohio State star fourth overall in 2016.
The loss of leadership is actually about more than Witten, the tight end who retired after 15 seasons Nate Schmidt Jersey , or the outspoken Bryant, who was released in a cost-cutting move. Veterans Darren McFadden and Alfred Morris aren't in the running backs room anymore.
Elliott isn't the oldest running back at the position for the Cowboys. But he's the most experienced and most accomplished. Elliott still led the NFL in rushing yards per game last year.
"It's a little bit tougher for me to be a vocal leader," he said. "I like to go out there and work. I think it takes a little bit more extra effort to kind of encourage guys to come with you so it's definitely something I have to work on."
With the domestic allegations looming during the offseason last year, Elliott had a hard time keeping himself out of the headlines.
There was video of him pulling down a woman's shirt during a St. Patrick's Day parade. Although he wasn't disciplined for that by the NFL, the incident was mentioned in the letter detailing his punishment. Elliott also had his second minor car accident in his two years with the Cowboys.
The 22-year-old hasn't given anyone reason to question his judgment so far this offseason.
"I think it changed him a lot," Brown said of events over the past year. "I think that he's realized that this is a very special opportunity that he has, especially to be one of the better backs, one of the best backs to ever play. He has that opportunity, and I think he understands that now."
Elliott shattered the Dallas rookie rushing record with 1,631 yards two years ago. Last season Jakob Silfverberg Jersey , he was at his best in helping the Cowboys to a three-game winning streak that boosted their playoff hopes. Then the suspension hit.
The departure of Bryant has left the Cowboys with uncertainty at receiver and the likelihood that they will lean heavily on Elliott, with defenses obviously scheming to stop him.
"I'm all for it," Elliott said. "A lot is asked of the running back of the Dallas Cowboys. A lot has been asked of me in pass receiving. I think I've had some great strides this offseason getting ready to carry that workload this season."
While encouraging Elliott to speak up more in his group, Brown hasn't felt the need to stress what's coming with the workload. That's something he figures Elliott understands.
"I think Zeke is a very intelligent man," Brown said. "And it's going to happen early. We understand what the mindset of some defenses will be, and we've just got to make sure we weather the storm."
For now, Elliott is enjoying the calm.
NOTES: RG Zack Martin signed the $84 million, six-year extension that made him the highest-paid guard in the NFL. Martin is now under contract through 2024.
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