The Jets began building what they believe is the best young secondary in the league last season.
On Tuesday, they made it even better.
The Jets made their biggest splash of free agency on Tuesday evening when they agreed to terms with cornerback Trumaine Johnson, according to a league source. The details of the deal, which was first reported by ESPN, were not immediately available. But the 28-year-old Johnson was considered the top cornerback on the market, and the annual average of his deal could exceed $15 million per year.
The Jets, of course, have the salary cap space. They opened the free-agent negotiating period on Monday with an estimated $90 million-plus to spend, and they saved a considerable amount when they failed to sign free agent quarterback Kirk Cousins. And according to a team source they had considered cornerback a priority whether they signed Cousins or not.
The 6-2, 213-pound Johnson had two interceptions for the Los Angeles Rams last season and has had 18 in his six-year career. He played under the "franchise tag" last season with the Rams for $16.74 million. He became expendable over the last few weeks as the Rams traded for corners Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib and signed Sam Shields.
He will fit in nicely with the Jets, though, where he'll play in front of the two young safeties the Jets drafted in the first two rounds last season - Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye. For now, Buster Skrine is slated to be the Jets' other starting cornerback. They had some hope of re-signing Morris Claiborne, but he has attracted interest from several teams on the free agent market, according to a source, and now looks like he'll sign elsewhere.
The Jets now have locked up deals with Johnson, running back Isaiah Crowell and quarterback Josh McCown on the day before the free-agent signing period opens. All the deals are expected to be officialy signed shortly after the market opens at 4 p.m. on Wednesday.
The Jets are also talking with the representatives of quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, and they are hopeful a deal will be done with him soon, too.