Posted: 5:42 pm Friday, March 28th, 2014
By Mark Bradley
I am, as we know, a bit slow on the uptake, but here’s one I didn’t see coming and don’t quite understand. According to Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean, the expected-to-be-released-or-traded-by-the-Titans running back Chris Johnson could be bound for the Atlanta Falcons.
Why I didn’t see this coming: The Falcons bought a big-name running back — Steven Jackson — last year. At 28, Johnson is two years younger than Jackson and much more of an outside threat, but still … in a league where feature backs are being featured less and less, do you need two such guys? Especially on a team built around Matt Ryan throwing and Julio Jones and Roddy White catching?
I’m not saying Wyatt is wrong. The Falcons under Thomas Dimitroff have been known to try and add strength to strength. (They traded five picks for the right to draft Jones when they already had the Pro Bowler White, as you’ll recall.) And it could be — just thinking out loud here — that Johnson wouldn’t be added to complement Jackson but to replace him.
But here we return to the theme of this offseason, which is that the Falcons need to upgrade both lines. To date, they’ve added offensive linemen Jon Asamoah, who should start at right guard, and Gabe Carimi, who’s probably a backup at best. Is that improvement enough to warrant spending more money and cap space on another running back? (I know, I know. They could still grab an O-lineman or two in the draft.)
Again, I’m thinking aloud. I’ll admit I don’t know the answer to this one. Heck, I’m surprised even to be asking the question.