Chris Johnson was once one of the most dominant running backs in the NFL. Now as the summer drags on, he is without a contract and still looking for a new team.
That team, according to CBS's Jason La Canfora, might just end up being the Dallas Cowboys.
Johnson became a free agent when the New York Jets did not pick up his option for the 2015 season. On the surface, it doesn't seem all that surprising that Johnson still finds himself on the market. In 2014, he had only 155 carries for 663 yards, both career lows. A horrifying incident over the spring also has presented a setback in his conditioning.
Johnson was shot in the shoulder in March in a drive-by shooting. His friend who was driving the car was killed. Johnson spent six weeks in bed recovering and dropped 20 pounds which is not encouraging for an NFL running back.
With Johnson set to turn 30 in September and the obvious questions over his fitness and mentality, you can understand why teams are not falling over themselves to sign Johnson before training camp.
As La Canfora, writes, however, there is still hope for Johnson to find a new team. He has been working out at Jay Glazer's gym and is back over 200 pounds. Even with the tough season in New York, he still averaged 4.3 yards per carry and several evaluators believed he was actually the Jets' best rusher showing more burst than he had the season before when he was limited by a hip injury.
Now here's why Dallas makes sense. The Cowboys need to replace DeMarco Murray who led the NFL last season with 1,845 yards. They currently plan to do so with Jospeh Randle and Darren McFadden, a duo that scares no one. He may not be as fast as he once was, but Johnson still has enough speed to stretch the edge and help Dallas' backfield.
Johnson has also expressed interest in joining the Cowboys in the past.
Is it a done deal? Not yet. Given all the concerns about his health, it is unlikely Johnson signs anywhere prior to training camp. As the season approaches and teams begin to trim their rosters and evaluate their needs it will become more likely that someone finds a place for the veteran running back. Dallas seems to make a lot of sense both for the player and for the team.