Blog Entry

Titans say new deal with Chris Johnson not close

Posted on: August 21, 2011 3:52 pm
Edited on: August 21, 2011 4:30 pm
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Posted by Ryan Wilson

Titans running back Chris Johnson hinted during the lockout that he wanted a new contract. And he came right out and said it once owners and players agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement. Johnson has yet to show up to training camp, and despite Tennessee general manager Mike Reinfeldt saying the team is ready to make him the NFL's "highest-paid running back," it sounds like Johnson's looking for something more than that.

Good news: Johnson returned to Nashville Saturday. Bad news: it wasn't to meet with the team -- he was in town for personal business.

In fact, the Titans say the two sides aren't even close to a new deal.

“We’ve discussed parameters," Reinfeldt told the Tennessean's Jim Wyatt before the team played the Rams Saturday. "If we can’t agree on the parameters, there’s no sense making offers. If your parameters are different … and if you are talking a different language then you are wasting your time. We’ve talked to his agent and will continue to talk to his agent.”

Also not helping things: Saturday night's announcement that the Cardinals gave Larry Fitzgerald, one of the league's best wide receivers, a shiny, new eight-year, $120 million contract that included $50 million in guarantees.

This prompted CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman to write, "You don't give that kind of guaranteed money to a wide receiver. Quarterbacks, yes. … A wide receiver? That's idiotic. Maybe a left tackle. Emphasis on maybe. Maybe a pass rusher. Emphasis on maybe. But not a wideout.

Chris Johnson's Holdout

"Fitzgerald is a future Hall of Famer, a hard worker, and someone who comes from good family," Freeman continued. "He's a leader. He deserves a huge payday but you don't give a wideout quarterback money in a salary cap league. Fitzgerald alone now occupies some 12 percent of Arizona's salary cap."

We've expressed similar views about Johnson. Namely that, even though he's one of the league's two best running backs, Tennessee shouldn't break the bank to keep him.

Johnson and his agent likely have a different view, and it could mean that signing him will be even more difficult for the Titans. Shortly after Fitzgerald's new contract was announced Johnson and Fitzgerald went back and forth on Twitter:
  • Johnson: "Congrats to @LarryFitzgerald god is good."
  • Fitzgerald: "thanks CJ you up next my guy." 
  • Johnson: "Yes sir." 
In Johnson's absence, backup running backs Jamie Harper and Stafon Johnson played well. Harper rushed for 83 yards on 11 carries and scored a touchdown; Johnson added 68 yards on 11 carries. Each players ripped off long runs from scrimmage (a 46-yarder for Harper, a 29-yarder for Johnson), and the Titans finished with 198 rushing yards in their 17-16 loss to the Rams.

We don't expect one performance by two backups as reason enough to prompt Johnson to the negotiating table. But it's further evidence that running backs, in general, play the most fungible position on the field.

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Comments
hgtrerte
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 26, 2011 2:35 pm
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tomlye
Since: Nov 28, 2011
Posted on: November 29, 2011 12:02 pm
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Tomly
Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: October 24, 2011 7:09 am
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Since: Jul 26, 2009
Posted on: August 22, 2011 12:01 pm
 

Titans say new deal with Chris Johnson not close

The Fitzgerald contract just added a new twist to this. Since Johnson already lost a year toward free agency unless he can negotiate that into a new deal, I'll be surprised if he suits up this year. Tennessee should try and trade him at this point.



Since: Aug 18, 2011
Posted on: August 22, 2011 10:59 am
 

Titans say new deal with Chris Johnson not close

SHOW CJ THE MONEY!!! The guy is an animal - pay him. Ok maybe not $15M a yr, or whatever Fitz just landed (thats just plain ridiculous) but He wants $30M guaranteed. OK fine - DeAngelo Williams just got $21M guaranteed and they (Panthers) have a backup that could start on most teams in the NFL with Johnathan Stewart. Javon Ringer, Harper and Stafon on nowhere near CJ's caliber. I mean who else is getting big money on the Titans?



Since: Jun 22, 2011
Posted on: August 22, 2011 10:20 am
 

Titans say new deal with Chris Johnson not close

Who needs CJ....they picked up Hasselbeck!!!!  yawn.



Since: Dec 21, 2007
Posted on: August 22, 2011 9:40 am
 

Titans say new deal with Chris Johnson not close

Here is an ABSOLUTELY perfect way to START to LOWER OUR NATIONS DEFICIT.THE US GOVERNMENT SHOULD PUT A 10% FLAT TAX on ALL of THESE MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR PRO ATHLETES AND MILLIONAIRES|BILLIONAIRES in this COUNTRY and the US DEFICIT WOULD DECREASE CONSIDERABLY!!! Also,WHY IN THE WORLD didn't THE REAL BOSSES OF THE NFL(ALL OF US FANS)tell them WHAT WE THOUGHT OF THEIR IDIOTIC LABOR DISPUTE.DOESN'T ANYONE REALLIZE THAT WE THE FANS ARE THE ONES WHO REALLY DECIDE IF THOSE PLAYERS,COACHES,OWNERS,and AGENTS(all that make MILLIONS)GET PAID OR WORK. WE ALL SHOULD BOYCOTT THE NFL COMPLETELY.



Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: August 22, 2011 9:38 am
 

Titans say new deal with Chris Johnson not close

First of all, Freeman is an idiot.  We all know this.  But you can't group all wide receivers into one category.  Yes, typically a WR is not worth that.  But Larry Fitzgerald is a top 3 WR in the league every year.  I know Andre Johnson is the guy right now most people say is #1, and he gets taken first in fantasy football, but I think Fitzgerald has the best overall skill set.  Besides Kurt Warner, he has had scrub QBs throwing the ball to him.  He means a lot to the Cardinals franchise.  So I have no problem with them doing what it takes to lock him up.  If they don't give him a huge contract, he goes to a big market team that has a good QB and a chance at winning every season.

It would be nice to see Chris Johnson join the team and get the negotiating going.  I'm never a fan of holdouts, unless it's a very very large gap in what the guy is getting paid and what he is worth.  I mean, if an old washed up veteran is making 10 million a year, a team can ask him to take a pay cut to stay with the team.  So, if a young superstar is only making say 1 million a year, but his value in the league is more like 10 million, then he should be able to do the same.  It should be a two-way street.

Adrian Peterson is the best and most complete RB in the NFL, especially after he seemed to have solved his fumble problem last season (while Johnson fumbled more).  Peterson will have better career numbers by far.  But I still think Johnson is going to be the next best RB over the next few years.  He certainly deserves the pay raise.




Since: Nov 18, 2010
Posted on: August 22, 2011 9:09 am
 

Titans say new deal with Chris Johnson not close

He needs to go back and take the pay raise they offered.  The real lesson for young players in the NFL, do not sign long term contracts!  Then if you out perform it you can get a raise, because if you under perform you will get cut.  Don't sign anything longer than a two year deal then work out a new deal every two years.  Then there is no crying from either side.



Since: Nov 8, 2010
Posted on: August 22, 2011 9:02 am
 

Titans say new deal with Chris Johnson not close

I think our offense would be kinda good if he played this year, but I don't care anymore. If he wants to holdout like this again then the hell with him. Let him sit at home and watch. I want my team to be the best they can possibly be, but I don't want him on my team if he doesn't care about my Titans at all. 
I completely agree. If he doesn't want to play for what the Titans are offering him and he's refusing to come to training camp, let him sit out this year. It'll just be one year of his prime playing and earning wasted for him, and Harper, S. Johnson, and Ringer have shown themselves to be capable replacements. It would be great to have CJ on the team this year with an upgrade at QB, but there's a good chance that even if he got a deal he wouldn't be a very good influence in the locker room, and I can tell that the aforementioned RBs on the Titans are hungry and desperately want to play and perform their best. Sorry, CJ, but if being the highest-paid running back in the NFL isn't good enough for you, then screw you. That is so hard for me to say, but I'm tired of all the greed. It never ends. Most players will never get paid enough in their minds. They always want more, more, more. So sad.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com