Jets sign 1st-rounder Jermaine Johnson to rookie deal

NEW YORK (AP) - The New York Jets signed defensive end Jermaine Johnson, the No. 26 overall pick in the NFL draft, to a fully guaranteed four-year, $13.1 million rookie deal Monday.

Johnson joins cornerback Ahmad 'œSauce'ť Gardner, selected fourth overall, as Jets first-round picks under contract. Gardner signed his four-year, $38.7 million deal on May 7. Wide receiver Garrett Wilson, the No. 10 pick last month, is unsigned.

The deal for Johnson includes a $6.7 million signing bonus and the standard fifth-year option for the Jets.

New York traded back into the first round to snag Johnson, who is expected to be an immediate contributor as a pass rusher. The former Florida State standout was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year last season after leading the conference with 12 sacks and 18 1/2 tackles for loss.

"Mindset, violence," Johnson said recently during rookie minicamp when asked what the keys are to setting the edge on defense. "There's no pretty boy work in the trenches. It's fun and sacks look good and stuff like that, but first and second down are primarily runs, so you have to earn the right to rush the passer.

"And what comes with that at my position is setting the edge, and you have to be violent and take your job serious.'ť

Johnson, a native of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, began his college career at Independence Community College - where he was among the players featured on the Netflix documentary series 'œLast Chance U.'ť He transferred to Georgia and played two seasons for the Bulldogs before heading to Florida State and playing his way to being a first-round draft pick.

'œIt's awesome,'ť Johnson said. 'œI mean, kind of the dream aspect, just envisioning myself being in this position and, you know, actually being here 'ť


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Jermaine Johnson speaks at a New York Jets NFL football draft news conference Friday, April 29, 2022, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Brittainy Newman) The Associated Press
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