The Jets earned $ 11 million in salary space Tuesday when a portion of Trumaine Johnson’s contract came off the books.
The Jets designated Johnson as a cut after June 1 when they released him in March. That allows them to spread the dead money out of their contract over two years. It carries a maximum charge of $ 4 million this year and $ 8 million in 2021.
The Jets now have just under $ 25 million in salary space, according to Over The Cap. That means the Jets could add a high-priced free agent or trade for a larger contract if they choose. However, GM Joe Douglas has shown no inclination to deliver big contracts this offseason. The Jets will need about $ 9 million of that maximum space to sign their draft picks. They signed fifth-round pick Bryce Hall on Monday, but have yet to sign the remaining eight picks.
Johnson’s contract could be the worst free-agent deal the Jets have ever delivered. Former general manager Mike Maccagnan awarded him a five-year, $ 72.5 million contract with $ 34 million guaranteed in 2018. He played just 17 games for the Jets. He missed nine games last season with a pair of ankle sprains. He missed five games in 2018 with a quadriceps injury. Former coach Todd Bowles made Johnson a healthy scratch for the final game of the 2018 season after he violated team rules. It was sent last year in weeks 2 and 3 by the new coaching staff.
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Johnson had five interceptions, four in 2018, and one returned for a touchdown with the Jets. However, what will be remembered will be how he committed several penalties at critical moments and the silly contract that the Jets gave him.