Ty Johnson feels like the New York Jets backstabbed him
When the New York Jets released Ty Johnson with a non-football injury designation prior to the draft, it barely made a blip on the radar screen.
Johnson played a minor role with the team last season but was not even expected to be re-signed. The only surprise was that the Jets released him a month after they re-inked him.
Things don’t appear to be so simple, though. Johnson took to Instagram to tell his story, one that, if true, casts the Jets in a highly negative light.
Update: RB Ty Johnson, formerly of the #Jets, suffered a Torn Pec injury while working out. He says the team told him to "Fix it" but cut him the next day after he did.
"I’ve had some Dark, dark days, man.”
"Told them [about the injury]. I told them even before this, I was… pic.twitter.com/r0aqr6pUY1
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) May 21, 2023
Per Johnson, he tore his pectoral muscle while working out away from the team facility. When he told the Jets, the team doctor recommended that he have surgery, which he did not want. After he had the procedure, the Jets cut him a few days later.
If fully true, this makes it seem like the Jets messed with Johnson’s career. After all, he had the surgery only on the advice of the organization; left to his own devices, he might have chosen pain management and rehab over a procedure. The fact that he went under the knife means that he has a long recovery ahead of him and may miss the 2023 season.
If he had been under contract with the Jets, at least he had a job while he recovered. Now, not only did the team release him, but he also lost the chance to compete for another team’s roster.
While the NFL is a business, Johnson makes it sound like Joe Douglas backstabbed him. The team could have simply released him and let him make his own medical decisions.
That being said, perhaps this was a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. Johnson says that he spoke to the team doctor, not Douglas. There is a strong possibility that the doctor gave him medical advice without knowing that Douglas was planning on releasing Johnson.
The release of an injured player is unfortunate, but that is part of the harsh business of the NFL. Johnson was a fourth-string running back at best and would have been in a battle to make the roster. When a player on the roster bubble sustains a serious injury, the reality is that the team cannot afford to carry them.
This is Johnson’s version of events. Douglas would likely have his own narrative, and the truth, as usual, is somewhere in the middle. Still, it’s an unwanted piece of negative publicity.
This isn’t the first time a player has made a similar allegation against the Jets during the Joe Douglas era. I also find it interesting that I don’t hear this complaint about other teams. Maybe because of NY media market and everything is a fishbowl, but I don’t like that I hear this complaint about the Jets and virtually no other team.
Since he was under contract when he had the surgery, the Jets had to pay for it. Releasing him allows him to catch on with another team. They could’ve put him on IR, but he wouldn’t be eligible to return this year and the way his contract was structured, he wasn’t a lock for the roster either. Bad optics, but definitely the right move.