Mike Maccagnan prefers the low-risk, high-reward path to team-building for good reason. He hasn’t exactly nailed his first two big-money signings, after all.
The Jets general manager, however, hopes that the third time’s the charm with cornerback Trumaine Johnson, who inked a monster 5-year, $ 72.5 million deal that includes a whopping $ 34 million fully guaranteed. The deal is reminiscent of the one Maccagnan gave Darrelle Revis not long after he replaced John Idzik in 2015.
The Jets signed Revis to a 5-year, $ 70 million contract with an eye-popping $ 39 million fully guaranteed. The perennial Pro Bowler returned the favor by flopping before he was cut after two seasons. (Full disclosure: Woody Johnson was the driving force in the Revis reunion, but Maccagnan deserves criticism for the outrageous money since no other team was offering anywhere near that much.)
Maccagnan gave Muhammad Wilkerson a five-year, $ 86 million deal in July 2016 only to be disappointed again with his sizeable investment. Wilkerson pocketed $ 37 million in two aggravating/massively underachieving seasons before he was cut three weeks ago.
Needless to say, the Jets hope that they have much better luck with Johnson, who is expected to be the team’s top cornerback now. The structure of the contract essentially guarantees that he’s going nowhere for at least two years. Beyond that, nothing is guaranteed yet. The Jets, however, would incur a $ 12 million dead money charge against the 2020 cap if they cut Johnson after the 2019 season. So, there’s a solid chance that the Jets will pay Johnson $ 45 million over the next three seasons barring horrific play.
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