By Jeff Zrebiec
12:31 PM EST, March 1, 2012
This probably won't come as a huge surprise to anybody who knows how close Ravens linebacker Jarret Johnson is to former defensive coordinator and current New York Jets coach Rex Ryan.
The New York Daily News is reporting that the Jets are interesting in signing Johnson, who will become an unrestricted free agent on March 13.
Johnson, who has been with the Ravens his entire nine-year career and is considered one of the defense's more consistent and unsung performers, has said that he wants to remain in Baltimore and retire as a Raven.
Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said last week that the team would like to make that happen.
“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. He plays like a Raven. We’d love to have him back if things can work itself out.”
The Ravens are expected to make Johnson an offer, but the 30-year-old could find more money and more opportunity elsewhere, perhaps with Ryan and the Jets, or perhaps with another former Ravens defensive coordinator, Chuck Pagano, and the Indianapolis Colts.
Johnson has started every game for the Ravens for five consecutive seasons and has been an important part of the team's formidable run defense. However, Johnson found himself on the sideline in pass situations this past season in favor of Paul Kruger.
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