Johnny Johnson
No. 39     
Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1968-06-11) June 11, 1968 (age 51)
Place of birth: Santa Clara, California
High School: Santa Cruz
Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) Weight: 220 lb (100 kg)
Career information
College: San Jose State
NFL Draft: 1990 / Round: 7 / Pick: 169
Debuted in 1990 for the Phoenix Cardinals
Last played in 1994 for the New York Jets
Career history
*Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Stats at

Johnny Johnson, Jr. (born June 11, 1968) is a retired American football running back who played in the National Football League for the New York Jets and the Phoenix Cardinals between 1990 and 1994.

High school and collegeEdit

He prepped at Santa Cruz High School.[1] Johnson graduated from San Jose State University. At San Jose State, Johnson played 12 games as a basketball player after most team members walked off and refused to play under coach Bill Berry. With 1,219 yards rushing and 61 catches in receiving, Johnson was among the top 20 college football players in the United States in 1988.[2]

Professional careerEdit

He played in the 1991 Pro Bowl. After playing for 3 seasons for the Cardinals, Johnson was traded during the 1993 NFL Draft to the New York Jets, in exchange for the Cardinals moving from the Number 4 pick in the draft to the Jets' Number 3 draft position. The Cardinals badly wanted Garrison Hearst, who also played running back, so the Cardinals were willing to part with Johnson just to move up one draft spot.[3]

After arriving on the Jets, Johnny Johnson was named Jets team MVP in 1993 in a vote by his teammates. Johnson finished the season ranked second in the AFC in total yards from scrimmage. He was one of only two backs to lead his team in rushing and receptions.

He became a free agent in 1995, and the Jets made him available for the expansion draft that year.[4] Johnson considered signing with the San Francisco 49ers.[1] In April 1996, Johnson signed a two-year, $3-million contract with the 49ers; consequently, the 49ers waived Dennis Brown to make salary cap room for Johnson.[5]


Note: G = Games played; Att = Rushing attempts; Yds = Rushing yards; Avg = Average yards per carry; Long = Longest rush; Rush TD = Rushing touchdowns; Rec = Receptions; Yds = Receiving yards; Avg = Average yards per reception; Long = Longest reception; Rec TD = Receiving touchdowns

Year Team GP Att Yds Avg Long Rush TD Rec Yds Avg Long Rec TD
1990Phoenix Cardinals142349264.0415252419.6350
1991Phoenix Cardinals151966663.4214292257.8512
1992Phoenix Cardinals121787344.1426141037.4260
1993New York Jets151988214.1573676419.6481
1994New York Jets162409313.9903423037.2242
Career Totals 72 1,046 4,078 3.9 90 21 177 1,513 8.5 51 5
  • Stats that are highlighted show career high


  1. 1.0 1.1 Swan, Gary (November 7, 1995). "Johnny Johnson May Sign Soon". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved February 18, 2011.
  2. Norwood, Robyn (August 28, 1989). "Big West Preview : Johnson, San Jose State Bulk Up for Challenge of Fresno State". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 17, 2011.
  3. "Jets Trade Down But Still Move Up", New York Times, April 26, 1993
  4. Eskenazi, Gerald (February 16, 1995). "Risky, Yes, but Jets Get Back Their Man". The New York Times. Retrieved February 18, 2011.
  5. "49ers Cut a Starter". The New York Times. Associated Press. April 3, 1996. Retrieved February 18, 2011.
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Brad Baxter/Blair Thomas
New York Jets Starting Running Back
Succeeded by
Adrian Murrell
Awards and achievements
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