Talk about an unceremonious end to a relationship. Trumaine Johnson rode into the New York Jets organization on a wave of hope in 2018, when the team awarded him a five-year, $72.5 million deal with $34 million in guaranteed money, hoping he would be one of the league's best at the position. Two short years later, Johnson has never come close to seeing his production match his pay, and having been benched on at least two occasions while also battling availability issues pushed the Jets patience with him to the absolute brink.
In assessing their plans going forward, general manager Joe Douglas no longer sees Johnson as a part of them, reportedly notifying the 30-year-old cornerback he will be released ahead of NFL free agency -- per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. This means Johnson will end his career with the Jets having gleaned $34 million to play in only 17 games, having finished the 2019 season on injured reserve with an ankle injury.
The move on Johnson is expected to happen when the league year begins on March 18 at 4 p.m. ET, considering the Jets would have to pay him $11 million in salary if he's still on the roster on March 20. That cap savings will go a long way in achieving any and all free agency goals they have, while jettisoning a player who never truly ingratiated himself with the organization. A former third-round pick of the Rams in 2012, Johnson has earned $69.69 million in his last four seasons -- between the Rams and the Jets -- while having never been awarded a Pro Bowl nod or one as an All-Pro.
As he heads into free agency for the second time in three seasons, he'll find it difficult to again command such a high price with his fractured brand -- any new deal likely coming nowhere near that of Byron Jones or James Bradberry.