The New York Jets landed arguably the top cornerback on the free-agent market, with a league source telling ESPN’s Adam Schefter the team is expected to sign former Los Angeles Rams “franchise” player Trumaine Johnson.
The contract terms weren’t immediately available. Johnson intends to sign his deal after 4 p.m. Wednesday, when the league year begins, according to the source.
The addition of Johnson was an important one for the Jets, whose system is predicated on man-to-man coverage by the corners. Before landing Johnson, they had only one starting-caliber corner under contract, Buster Skrine, who is best suited to the No. 3 role.
The Jets also have been in talks with Morris Claiborne, who started 15 games last season. There’s still a chance they could re-sign Claiborne, which would fortify a secondary that allowed 30 touchdown passes last season.
Johnson posted a farewell to the Rams on his Instagram account Monday. He will be reunited with secondary coach Dennard Wilson, who was his position coach with the Rams through 2016.
Johnson, 28, spent the past two years as the Rams’ primary cornerback and played under the franchise tag in both those seasons, his salary jumping to $16.74 million in 2017. He was arguably the best corner available on the free-agent market this offseason, mainly because of his size, his ability to match up with elite receivers and his track record for staying healthy.
Among 86 cornerbacks with at least 325 coverage snaps, Pro Football Focus had Johnson ranked 35th in opponents’ completion percentage (57.3) and 36th in opponents’ passer rating (79.8) when targeted. He allowed 1.33 yards per coverage snap, which put him within the bottom 20 percent of qualified cornerbacks.
But Johnson also spent a lot of time shadowing the likes of Pierre Garcon, Dez Bryant, Marqise Lee, Larry Fitzgerald, DeAndre Hopkins, Michael Thomas and Alshon Jeffery in 2017. Those seven combined to catch only 57.7 percent of their targets when Johnson was responsible for covering them, nearly 8 percentage points below the NFL average, according to numbers compiled by ESPN.
A third-round pick out of Montana in 2012, Johnson has 18 interceptions and 42 pass breakups over the past six seasons, playing in 85 of a potential 96 regular-season games. During that time, he has proved capable of playing on both sides of the field.
ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez contributed to this report.
Green Bay Packers consider Davante Adams a game-time decision for Sunday night game
The Green Bay Packers will give star wide receiver Davante Adams up until game time Sunday night to recover from his hamstring injury and prove that he can play against the New Orleans Saints, a team source tells ESPN.
Adams is officially listed as doubtful, and the source told ESPN that it’s “unlikely” he will play. But the source also said that if Adams can prove he can run full speed in pregame warm-ups on Sunday night, the Packers would allow him to play.
The Pro Bowl receiver did not practice Friday, marking the third straight day he worked with the rehab group. Adams tied a franchise record in Week 1 with 14 catches against the Minnesota Vikings and had three catches last Sunday against the Detroit Lions before suffering the injury.
Packers coach Matt LaFleur has stopped short of ruling out Adams completely, saying Friday that Green Bay “will give him the rest of the week to see where he’s at.”
It was during Adams’ absence last season that running back Aaron Jones emerged. In the first game without Adams, Jones had four touchdowns in a win at the Dallas Cowboys and totaled 182 total yards from scrimmage. Against the Lions last week, Jones set a personal best with 236 total yards.
ESPN’s Rob Demovsky contributed to this report.
Las Vegas Raiders expect Darren Waller, Josh Jacobs to face New England Patriots
While the Las Vegas Raiders have listed tight end Darren Waller (knee) and running back Josh Jacobs (hip) as questionable for Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots, both are expected to play, a source tells ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Waller had 12 catches for 103 yards and a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints on Monday and drew praise from Patriots coach Bill Belichick. Waller has 18 catches for 150 yards and a touchdown on the season.
In other injury news:
It doesn’t sound overly encouraging but Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, who is listed as questionable with a hamstring injury, is not expected to have his final status decided until about 90 minutes before Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears, a source tells Schefter. “It’s nip and tuck, up in the air,” one Falcons’ source said Saturday.
Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown is nursing a “pretty significant knee bruise” that hasn’t responded as well or as quickly as the team had hoped, a source tells Schefter. It is a painful injury, and Brown easily could wind up missing more time with the slow-healing nature of it.
Source — New Orleans Saints’ Michael Thomas ‘moving really well’ in workouts, eyes Week 4 return
New Orleans Saints star wide receiver Michael Thomas, who will miss his second straight game Sunday night with a high ankle sprain, was “moving really well” during Friday’s workout and wants to play in Week 4 against the Detroit Lions, a league source tells ESPN.
Thomas’ availability ultimately will hinge on whether he is cleared by doctors, but the record-setting receiver “looked good” this weekend, according to the source.
Thomas has not practiced since he suffered the ankle injury during the final minutes of New Orleans’ Week 1 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Saints chose not to place Thomas on injured reserve — which would have required him to miss at least three games.
Thomas won the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year award last season after setting the NFL record with 149 catches in a season.
ESPN’s Mike Triplett contributed to this report.
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