Former Titans running back Chris Johnson reportedly visiting the New York Jets

Anwar S. Richardson
Shutdown Corner
FILE - In this Aug. 8, 2013 file photo, Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson talks with teammates on the sideline in the third quarter of a preseason NFL football game against the Washington Redskins, in Nashville, Tenn. The Titans have told Chris Johnson they are releasing him after six seasons to avoid paying the $8 million the running back is due in pay in 2014, and the final three seasons left on the $53.5 million contract he signed in September 2011. The Titans announced Johnson has been told he will be released Friday, April 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Wade Payne, File)

In this Aug. 8, 2013 file photo, Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson talks with teammates on the sideline in the third quarter of a preseason NFL football game against the Washington Redskins, in Nashville, Tenn. The Titans have told Chris Johnson they are releasing him after six seasons to avoid paying the $8 million the running back is due in pay in 2014, and the final three seasons left on the $53.5 million contract he signed in September 2011. The Titans announced Johnson has been told he will be released Friday, April 4, 2014

FILE - In this Aug. 8, 2013 file photo, Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson talks with teammates on the sideline in the third quarter of a preseason NFL football game against the Washington Redskins, in Nashville, Tenn. The Titans have told Chris Johnson they are releasing him after six seasons to avoid paying the $8 million the running back is due in pay in 2014, and the final three seasons left on the $53.5 million contract he signed in September 2011. The Titans announced Johnson has been told he will be released Friday, April 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Wade Payne, File)

The New York Jets should have a simple goal on Tuesday – do not let Chris Johnson leave without a signed contract.

After days of speculation, Johnson is currently visiting the Jets’ facility, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Johnson was recently spotted in New York, but this is his first official visit with the Jets since the Tennessee Titans released him nearly two weeks ago.

If Johnson signs, he would join Jets running back Chris Ivory, who struggles to stay healthy, in New York’s backfield. Johnson could be paired with Michael Vick, who will battle against Geno Smith during training camp to determine the starting quarterback this season.

Johnson was slated to make $8 million with Tennessee this season, but will likely receive much less this year. He is no longer in the conversation with Philadelphia’s LeSean McCoy, Kansas City’s Jamaal Charles and Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson as the NFL’s top running back. Instead, Johnson is viewed as an above average runner who teams are not willing to overpay.

However, that was not always the case.

Johnson rushed for 2,006 yards and 14 touchdowns, plus had 502 receiving yards and two touchdowns, in 2009. He was considered the league’s top running back, and most NFL observers believed he could duplicate that performance.

Instead, Johnson rushed for 1,364 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2010; 1,047 rushing yards and four touchdowns in 2011, plus 1,243 rushing yards and six touchdowns in 2012. Last season, Johnson had 279 carries, 1,077 rushing yards and six touchdowns.

If Johnson does not sign before the NFL draft, his options will probably diminish. Teams in need of a running back will likely select one in the draft, which would force Johnson to accept a less than favorable contract offer.

Nevertheless, Johnson has an opportunity to play for the Jets if he has a good visit on Tuesday.

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Anwar S Richardson is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at NFLAnwar@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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