According to the New York Daily News, the New York Jets are interested in signing Ravens free agent outside linebacker Jarret Johnson, which would reunite him with his former defensive coordinator and current Jets head coach, Rex Ryan.
Johnson, 30, is set to become an unrestricted free agent on March 13. He has spent his entire nine-year career in the Charm City and is one of the defense’s most dependable players, and he has said all along that he wants to remain in Baltimore and retire as a Raven.
Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said last week that he’d like to make that a reality.
“I had a conversation with Jarret at the end of the season, and I told him I would maintain communication with him throughout the process,” Newsome said. “Jarret is a Raven.”
The Ravens are expected to make Johnson an offer, but he could find more money and playing time with Ryan and the Jets.
Ryan has made it a habit of bringing players from Baltimore to New York since taking over the reigns as Jets head coach in 2009. He has brought over linebacker Bart Scott, safety Jim Leonhard, defensive lineman Trevor Pryce and wide receiver Derrick Mason.
With the Ravens struggling to make room for quarterback Joe Flacco, running back Ray Rice and left guard Ben Grubbs under the salary cap, Johnson could end up being the odd man out. Paul Kruger, who made serious strides in 2011, replaced Johnson on third down and pass rushing situations last year, and the team hasn’t thrown in the towel on Sergio Kindle, who also plays outside linebacker.