One C.J. on the Jets appreciated a gesture last week from another C.J.
Linebacker C.J. Mosley said team CEO Christopher Johnson gave the player his phone number to call him directly during a virtual team meeting June 1 if any of them wanted to discuss social justice issues that have been in the forefront since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
“He came on the video call and talked to the whole team, the players, the coaching staff, who was on that video chat and he expressed his concerns,” Mosley said during a Zoom call with reporters Wednesday. “He pretty much let us know anything that we needed he was there to help. He gave out his personal info and said any guy that wants to call or any guy that wants to get together to work something out, he was there to help. That definitely meant a lot to me, and pretty sure to everybody else for him to go out of his way. “
It is not a surprise to hear Johnson was proactive with his players. When the controversy over kneeling during the national anthem was at its peak in 2017, Johnson was an unifying force within the organization and established open lines of communication with the locker room.
The issue of systemic racism and police brutality is again at the forefront, with protests occurring around the country. NFL players, including Jets safety Jamal Adams, have been vocal and commissioner Roger Goodell issued a video last week pledging to do more.
When the 2020 season starts, players are expected to kneel again in protest. Mosley said he was unsure whether he would kneel. He said the Jets need to discuss the issue as a team, something they haven’t been able to really do because they haven’t been able to get together during the pandemic.
“That’s something we have to do,” Mosley said of the meeting. “It’s likely to come up again. Some guys are definitely going to kneel again. Some guys just. I hope the NFL and the owners will look back on that situation and make sure we handle it the right way. I would think the NFL and the owners and coaches would have our backs 100 percent and full support. We have to have that conversation, so we can see where everyone’s mindset is at. “
Mosley said he would draw on his experience with the Ravens in 2017. They were in London facing the Jaguars when President Donald Trump criticized players who knelt, inflaming the controversy. Mosley said the Ravens had an emotional pregame meeting and it took their minds away from the game. They ended up with some kneeling players and others standing. It was a huge issue in Baltimore. The following week, the team kneeled prior to the anthem then stood when the anthem was played.
The linebacker didn’t just talk about off-the-field issues. He also addressed his status. Mosley missed all but two games last year with a core muscle injury that required surgery. Mosley said he is now able to do everything, and is running and cutting and doing football drills. He expects to be ready to go when training camp starts.
“It’s pretty confident that it’s good to go,” Mosley said.
Mosley said he appreciates the game more after missing so much time last year.
“You really know how much the game means to you when you’re away for so long,” he said.
Mosley spent his days rehabbing the injury, trying to return. He said most days he was in before the sun rose to start treatment and did not leave the team facility until night after the team meetings had ended.
“I see the sunlight,” Mosley said.
The Jets signed Mosley to a five-year, $ 85 million deal last year, hoping he would be a major contributor. Instead, he got hurt during the Week 1 loss to the Bills.
Mosley believes the Jets will be an improved team by 2020.
“Just everybody being in the system more than a year,” Mosley said. “There were new coaches, new players, a lot of new faces last year so we really have a foundation to lean on. Everybody was learning on the go and feeling each other out and feeling out the chemistry. I feel like this year we have a pretty solid foundation. “