Staying true to his word, Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan was active on the first day of free agency. And among the Green & White's multiple signings was the acquisition of a big-ticket cornerback in Trumaine Johnson.
"The last two years, I've been tagged," Johnson said. "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."
The 6'2", 213-pound Johnson played his first six professional seasons with the Rams, recording 18 interceptions — three of which he returned for touchdowns — along with 67 pass defenses. Johnson will see a familiar face upon his arrival as Dennard Wilson, who was the Rams' defensive quality control coach from 2012-14 and their defensive backs coach from 2015-16, is entering his second season as Todd Bowles' defensive backs coach.
"I was with him in St. Louis and two years ago in LA," he 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, California to New York and it's going to be fun out here."
Johnson started 15 contests last season, collecting two interceptions and a team-high 14 pass defenses. His best statistical year came in 2015 when Johnson notched a team-leading and personnel best seven INTs. That theft total ranked tied for third-most in the NFL as Johnson added career highs in tackles (71) and pass defenses (11).
A third-round pick of the Rams in the 2012 NFL Draft, Johnson played collegiately at Montana and collected 15 interceptions and a school-record 35 pass defenses in 47 games. He has been an elite performer on the next level and has recently been on a three-year tear. Over 44 games between 2015-17, Johnson had 10 interceptions and 42 pass defenses.
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The Jets could have one of the most talented secondaries in football next season. The safety pair of Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye made their marks as rookies, and Johnson, who excels in man press coverage, should be a perfect fit on the outside.
"It's exciting. I was speechless when I finally gave my agent the green light," he said. "It's the Big Apple. New chapter, new beginnings and I get to add to this already great defense."