It was a great sign that he canceled his trip to Oakland, eliminating another potential landing spot for Suh.
"And when that deadline passed, myself and Christopher - Todd was always informed about this, the whole time - made the determination if we wanted to stay in the race for him, or pull out".
Johnson said signing Suh "didn't seem to be in keeping with our long-term plan".
A three-time All-Pro, Suh is an elite talent, but he's also earned a reputation as a dirty player.
Johnson, though, said on Sunday that "our thinking just changed a bit" on Suh. Suh never arranged a visit with the Jets.
"When he was cut, we looked into him", general manager Mike Maccagnan said from the NFL Annual Meeting on Monday. He has visited several teams, including the Jets, Tennessee Titans, New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams. "That's where I have to leave it".
But whatever the reasons, it now appears that Suh will have to go someplace else. It was, in effect, a take-it-or-leave-it one-year proposal with a reasonable deadline.
The staff felt that Suh, 31, could be a valuable addition, a disruptive player who could draw extra blockers. Johnson acknowledged that the Jets had made "a pretty high offer" to Suh, adding, "It's a lot of money. And he's one of the best football players out there".
After being linked to Suh and making him the biggest offer of any suitor, the Jets are changing course. "In discussion with Mike, looking into what our plan is, it became apparent to the two of us that this just didn't work".
"Saying I stepped in is somewhat overstating the case", Johnson said.