Blog Entry

Titans, Johnson agree to 4-year, $53.5M deal

Posted on: September 1, 2011 1:27 pm
Edited on: September 1, 2011 3:18 pm

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Chris Johnson has a new contract. According to the Tennessean's Jim Wyatt, the Titans and Johnson agreed to four-year, $53.5 million deal with $30 million in guarantees. It took all of training camp and almost the entire preseason, but one of the NFL's best running backs will return to Tennessee's backfield in time for the start of the regular season to do what he does best: take pressure off the offense and put it squarely on opposing defenses.

Last month, Titans general manager Mike Reinfeldt said that the organization was willing to make Johnson the NFL's highest-paid running back. Johnson wanted more, and the stalemate continued until Thursday.

Wyatt writes that Johnson was scheduled to make $1.065 million in 2011. With an average salary of $13.5 million, his contract not only makes him the NFL’s highest paid running back, it also puts him in a category among the game’s “elite” players.

Chris Johnson Gets Paid
Wyatt continues: The highest paid running backs in the league make roughly $9.5 million to $10.5 million per year annually over the first three years of the deal. Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson is scheduled to make $10.7 million in the final year of his contract. Last month, the Panthers reached a deal with running back DeAngelo Williams that gave him $21 million in guaranteed money.

Johnson and the Titans met last week but the two sides remained far apart on a new contract. On Wednesday there were reports that there was finally "positive movement for the first time," and, a day later, Johnson has a shiny, new deal. Now the running back will be under contract for the next six years through 2016. 

The 24th overall pick in the 2008 draft, Johnson led the NFL in yards rushing the past three seasons. In 2009, he became only the sixth man in NFL history to rush for at least 2,000 yards and ended the year with 2,006 yards.

The Titans, who wrap up the preseason Thursday night at New Orleans, wanted Johnson to at least have a few days of practice with new quarterback Matt Hasselbeck in a revised offense under coordinator Chris Palmer and new head coach Mike Munchak. The only other running back with any NFL carries is Javon Ringer with 59 in his career, and he has been hurt most of the preseason. Rookie Jamie Harper from Clemson started the past two preseason games for Tennessee.

Fullback Ahmard Hall said Tuesday that Johnson would have some work once he does arrive to learn the changes in Palmer's offense, especially with the different terminology. "You're going to have to think," Hall said, according to the Associated Press. "You're not going to just be able to roll in and hit the ground running as if coach (Mike) Heimerdinger were still here. Coach Palmer has put in a lot of good things, bu the language is different. He's definitely going to have to think. The sooner he gets in the better."

With Johnson's contract now out of the way, all that's left is to get Tennessee back to the playoffs. That journey starts in earnest on September 11 when the Titans face the Jaguars in the regular-season opener.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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Since: Dec 19, 2007
Posted on: September 2, 2011 10:06 am

Titans, Johnson agree to 4-year, $53.5M deal

I just do not understand why contracts aren't inforced, honored, or binding. Yes Chris Johnson is a nice running back. Yes he is in the top tier in the NFL. However, he was under contract already. The league should either offer incentive laden clauses or work something into contracts with stiff penalties for holdouts. It really is sickening to look at what has happened to sports in general. Sports have turned completely into greed machines. I see nothing wrong with getting your money, but when is enough? Sports have fallen in line with everything else that is inflated in our world, such as gas, groceries, utilities, etc. And just like the real world, we often do not get our money's worth! I do not see how pro sports gets any new fans, as the only reason i still follow is because i grew up on it. "Too big to fail" comes to mind, but look what happened to that theory! I guess that's why i enjoy college sports a little more these days because at least they try to hide the fact that it's all about the money!

Since: Aug 9, 2010
Posted on: September 2, 2011 9:16 am

Titans, Johnson agree to 4-year, $53.5M deal

Seriously who cares? CJ will be hurt from the get go and the deal will look horrible and so will the Titans. I wonder what would happen if a NFL team told one of there holdouts, no new contract sit for the year, how many holdouts would there be? the NFL like no other professional sport has guys holding out on current contracts for more money, is this because the nature of the sport being violent and tough on the body that careers are so short? So why not if your a young guy sign your first contract for 2-3 years instead of 5-6, then when you blossom into a good player your ready for the big contract instead of holding out and not only hurting yourself but your TEAM!  But hey Football is BACK baby!!!

Since: Aug 10, 2007
Posted on: September 2, 2011 9:12 am

Titans, Johnson agree to 4-year, $53.5M deal

Yet another me-first douchebag who very well represents all that is wrong with Pro Sports.

Hope he explodes an MCL and calls it a career after week 1.

Since: Jun 3, 2007
Posted on: September 2, 2011 8:52 am

Titans, Johnson agree to 4-year, $53.5M deal

Slippy...did you fall down and hit your head. Off the top of my head, L.T., A.P., & Reggie Bush (Superbowl) come to mind immediately. Let me do some research and I'll get back with you.

Since: Sep 30, 2007
Posted on: September 2, 2011 8:25 am

Titans, Johnson agree to 4-year, $53.5M deal

only the dumb teams pay a lot for RBs.  if you look at the top 5 RBs of the last decade, most are not good teams (except for that one season for Vikings when Favre/Rice/Harvin was clicking...   once it became A-Peterson only...   well, you know how it went)

plenty of good teams without star RBs (which actually seems like a requirement to be an elite team nowadays...   make sense since the elite teams usually allocate their resources to O-D-lines and QBs (and WR that causes double team)...

besides, most people tend to LOVE RBs that have a lot of those 'big plays', but i actually prefer the 'steady kind'...   e.g.   Johnson is known as the 'big play' RB while Bradshaw is known as the 'steady consistent 5 yards guy'
- unless the 'big play' RB is averaging 7.5 yards per rush, it means that when he's not getting '80 yard plays, he's probably FULL of 1yd/0yd/-yds and probably a 'drive killer' while the steady RB will get 5 yds more consistently, allowing the offense to keep the drive alive...

any team that pay any RB more than 10 mil definitely overpaid...   with that said, i do think RBs are the cruelest positions since your body breaks down the most and it's the position where a player is GUARANTEED to get tackled by biggest defenders 20 times a game (imagine if a QB had to take 20 sacks a game?   or if a WR had to 'go over the middle' and get creamed 20 times a game (WRs have it easier because CB/DB are the smallest defenders and their more for 'pass defensed' rather than tackling)

Since: Nov 30, 2008
Posted on: September 2, 2011 7:23 am

Titans, Johnson agree to 4-year, $53.5M deal

Johnson may be a whiner but he's also the reason the Titans sell tickets !

Since: Nov 30, 2008
Posted on: September 2, 2011 7:21 am

Titans, Johnson agree to 4-year, $53.5M deal

He's the best rb for his team not the league ! Johnson is more of an outside runner than inside and he didn't lead the league in rushing yards either ! He does possess game changing speed and ability but he lacks in other areas like catching and blocking ! That would be a complete back !

Since: Nov 30, 2008
Posted on: September 2, 2011 7:19 am

Titans, Johnson agree to 4-year, $53.5M deal

Ringer doesn't bring to the table what Johnson brings ! Johnson has game changing ability and speed to match ! He's a threat any time he touches the ball to go the distance ! Ringer is not ! Johnson ran for over 1300 yards last season and Ringer had 239 so I'm not sure what you're basing your logic on !

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: September 2, 2011 3:42 am

Titans, Johnson agree to 4-year, $53.5M deal

Gonna be interesting when Javon Ringer rushes for 1100 yards after Johnson pops his hamstring.  What's Ringer making this year?

Since: Oct 13, 2006
Posted on: September 2, 2011 2:47 am

Titans, Johnson agree to 4-year, $53.5M deal

before you reply to this i will only respond to people who have played a sport for money. Chris johnson is the nfl's best RB and he is getting paid like it. i have no problem with that. He got angry because people who don't understand his position complained. That is the whole story. Now i open the table to anyone who thought that deserved to be better compensated for the job they do. To teachers that stay late with a student and cops that go the extra mile to be better than the next one. Football careers are short and RB is one of the shortest lived positions. If he earns every penny from this day forward great. If not he actually earned this money already. The imperfectness of the draft process slotted him low and he will never be able to make up for money he has already lost. So people lay off the guy. Be realistic would be happy if you knew  that you left money on the table?

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