Tag:Tennessee Titans
Posted on: August 31, 2011 5:53 pm
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Report: Positive movement between Johnson, Titans

Posted by Ryan Wilson

It's something. And at this stage of the proceedings, with the regular season barely a week away and the Titans' offense in dire need of a playmaker, any indication that Chris Johnson could return to Tennessee with a new contract is reason for optimism.

On Wednesday night, the Tennessean's Jim Wyatt is the bearer of potentially good news (via Twitter, naturally):

"Now for Johnson's contract news, and it's better. Sources say there has been positive movement for the 1st time between Titans and Johnson."

Pretty vague, yes, but it's certainly better than the headline we saw exactly a week ago: "Titans, Chris Johnson end meeting without deal."

And since the Titans have made it clear that they won't trade Johnson, there was only one of two ways this standoff would end.

One, Johnson could remain on his couch, as the Titans began the season with a rookie quarterback a play away from taking the field, only willing to budge if the team made him one of the league's highest paid players. Or two, the two sides could continue to negotiate a new contract, one that would pay Johnson somewhere between what the top NFL player pulls down and what the top running back makes.

For now, at least, the latter scenario appears to be prevailing. Whether it continues is contingent on, well, money.

We talked about it on Wednesday's Pick-6 Podcast, but why are talks heating up now, days before the season opener? It's not like the Titans didn't know games started on September 11. Or that their offense, as currently constituted, features Matt Hasselbeck and not much else. (Kenny Britt is working his way back into shape and Johnson, obviously, is resting comfortably at the crib.)

Chris Johnson's Holdout

On the other hand, Johnson knows the offense and if Tennessee really does plan to back up the Brinks truck (we've gone on record at least a dozen times but, yeah, we're against it), there's no need to have him hurt himself in training camp or preseason games.

Whatever happens this much is certain: the Titans' offense is better with Johnson. How much better … well, that remains to be seen. Don't forget, Tennessee was 8-8 and 6-10 the last two seasons.

On the upside: Johnson hasn't yet told the organization to "STFU" so the two sides are still communicating. And for now, that's a good thing.

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Posted on: August 31, 2011 2:45 pm
 

Chris Johnson tells 'fake Titans fans' to 'STFU'

Posted by Will Brinson

Earlier on Wednesday, we brought you the story of the MRI that Arian Foster posted on Twitter. This drew some attention. But probably not as much attention as Chris Johnson's string of tweets on Wednesday afternoon that were directed at 'fake Titans fans.'

"Can these fake Titan fans STFU on my timeline I don't have a regular job so don't compare me to you and I can care less if uthink I'm greedy," Johnson tweeted.

For those not down with the hip language that the kids use, "STFU" is a non-too-friendly request for someone to "shut the [expletive] up. (The really cool kids, like me, have moved on to saying "Shut the front door!" but that's neither here nor there.)

If you're a real Titans fan and feel offended because of Johnson's tweets, you shouldn't. He still loves you.

"If you was a real fan my tweet would not bother you it only make the fake fans upset," Johnson added later, while also tweeting "Luv the real fans."

Chris Johnson's Holdout

Obviously, these tweets are related to Johnson's contract situation -- he's currently holding out for what I like to call "Manning money," and won't be satisfied until the Titans make him not just the highest-paid running back in the NFL, but one of the highest-paid players in the NFL.

We've covered most of this ground already. If you want a primer on why Johnson shouldn't get paid the amount of money he wants from Tennessee, you should absolutely read my colleague Ryan Wilson's excellent breakdown on the situation.

It's also abundantly clear that the Titans can't/won't trade Johnson. And we know that Johnson isn't a great candidate to cave and just show up for work until the Titans actually satisfy his demands for more money.

But this latest social-media barrage is indicative of a guy who's extremely frustrated with his situation -- the Titans may eventually pay Johnson the amount of money he wants, but by flailing out at fans on Twitter, whether they be "real" or "fake," Johnson isn't doing himself any favors in terms of showing how calm he's taking the negotiating process.

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Posted on: August 27, 2011 8:15 pm
 

Report: NFL also declines to suspend Kenny Britt

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

If Roger Goodell isn’t going to suspend Buccaneers cornerback Aqib Talib for his lockout transgressions from the offseason, then it stands to reason Goodell won’t (can’t?) suspend Titans receiver Kenny Britt.

And according to the New York Times’ Judy Battista, that’s exactly what has happened, citing the league in saying that Britt will face no discipline either.

After meeting with Goodell earlier this week, Britt had this to say: “He asked me questions about certain situations and I told him what happened.  I think it went well. I hope so. I have a smile on my face, I am still breathing. So everything is good.

“I'm still hoping nothing happens to me.”

At the time, I thought that analysis was a little ridiculous. Now it appears Britt was spot-on.

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Posted on: August 25, 2011 8:05 pm
 

Munchak: Titans not trading Chris Johnson

Posted by Will Brinson

The Titans and Chris Johnson had a little pow-wow in Nashville recently, and things -- to quote CJ2K himself -- got "worst." Johnson departed the meeting without any deal and it sure seems now like his holdout could last into the season.

This has many people wondering if the Titans would trade one of the top running backs in the game. In fact, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported Thursday that Johnson's camp could seek a trade as its next step. But according to Titans coach Mike Munchak, it'll probably be fruitless of them to do so.

"I would think we wouldn’t do anything. We would think he is under contact for two more years; he is going to be a Titan, hopefully longer than that,”"Munchak Thursday, per Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean. "I don't think that is anything we’d give any consideration to.

"He is with us, one way or the other, and hopefully it is on the field."

Chris Johnson's Holdout

Munchak also added that the Titans front office "hadn't talked about" a potential trade involving Johnson.

And that's probably true, and there are a number of reasons. For starters, who the hell is going to be able to meet a) whatever bounty the Titans want in exchange and b) whatever salary demands Johnson has once he arrives in his new camp.

The answer is "almost no one." After all, if you thought the Kevin Kolb trade the Cardinals made was a doozy, imagine what it would take to move Johnson.

Plus, Bud Adams isn't the type of owner, as noted by his recent quotes, to just cave to Johnson, particularly after a lengthy lockout that eventually yielded a CBA which was specifically designed to punish players that held out.

There's still probably a good chance that we end up seeing Johnson squeeze a little more cash out the Titans as Labor Day approaches, but expecting them to give him "Manning money" just to get him on the field is an unrealistic proposition.

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Posted on: August 24, 2011 5:03 pm
Edited on: August 25, 2011 7:13 am
 

Titans, Chris Johnson end meeting without deal

Posted by Ryan Wilson

On Tuesday, Titans running back Chris Johnson was headed to Nashville to meet with the organization, ostensibly to discuss a new contract. As for what he was expecting, Johnson was both cryptic and pragmatic, tweeting "Could get better or worst."

Well, according to reports, the two sides have gone their separate ways Wednesday afternoon, no deal has been announced, and no update given as to the status of Johnson's ongoing holdout. Neither Johnson nor his agent Joel Segal, or Titans general manager Mike Reinfeldt, were immediately available for comment, the Associated Press reported.

This is the latest chapter in a saga that has dragged on since training camps began in late July. Johnson hinted during the offseason that he wanted a new contract, and two weeks ago Reinfeldt announced that the team was willing to make Johnson the league's "highest-paid running back." He'd just need Johnson to show up to camp and negotiations would proceed from there.

Seemed reasonable except that Johnson wanted to be one of the NFL's highest-paid players. And even after a face-to-face meeting Wednesday, the impasse continues.

We've argued that Tennessee shouldn't pay Johnson. Not because he's not a great player, but because running backs are fungible. In the Titans' last preseason game, Jamie Harper rushed for 83 yards on 11 carries, and Stafon Johnson added 68 yards on 11 carries.

Chris Johnson's Holdout

While we shouldn't make too much of one preseason game, there are countless examples from the regular season, too. Willie Parker, Chris Ivory and Arian Foster immediately come to mind as undrafted backs who got opportunities after players ahead of them were injured.

It's rare that a player holding out for more money has leverage over the team, but the Titans have a rookie quarterback in Jake Locker (though Matt Hasselbeck will likely start the season under center) who will need all the help he can get. And there's the very real chance that the league suspends wide receiver Kenny Britt, Tennessee's second-biggest offensive weapon.

Whether it's enough to force the Titans' hand is another story, especially since the team -- with Johnson on the field -- won six games in 2010 and eight games the year before.

And if he does return before the regular season? Head coach Mike Munchak says Johnson can't just show up and expect 30 touches a game

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Posted on: August 24, 2011 11:06 am
Edited on: August 25, 2011 9:49 am
 

Colts sign Collins in case Manning isn't ready


The Indianapolis Colts have signed veteran Kerry Collins as an insurance policy to Peyton Manning. Colts RapidReporter Tom James joins Scott Braun to discuss the move.

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Colts owner Jim Irsay has been a busy little Twitterer recently. Last Saturday he informed fans that "We r evaluating the QB sitch, #18 healing but we got 2 b prepared 4 early season possibility without him, defense has 2 pick it up,big time!" A few days later he joked that he was on a quest to find Brett Favre, and Wednesday morning he announced that Kerry Collins, in Favre-ian fashion, would be coming out of retirement to sign with the Colts.

While the Collins signing is news, the implications are bigger: there is real concern that Peyton Manning, still recovering from offseason neck surgery, won't be ready to start the regular season.

Anyone who has watched a Manning-less Colts offense led by the likes of Curtis Painter or Dan Orlovsky knows that it might be a four-win outfit. Collins may be a fossil in NFL years, but he's also the same guy who manned the controls when the Titans won 13 games in 2008. In fact, CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman thinks Indy can make the playoffs with Collins should it come to that.

"The signing of Collins is just in case something goes horribly wrong [with Manning's recovery]," Freeman wrote Wednesday morning. "He's got a strong arm, a solid head and Colts players will like him. He's in many ways the best-case scenario for the Colts. … Bringing Collins to Indianapolis is actually a brilliant move. Now we just wait and see when Manning returns."

Peyton's Place ... on the sidelines?

Minutes after Irsay announced Collins had been signed, he tweeted that coach Jim Caldwell and team president Bill Polian "will expand more on our thinking and how we will integrate the quarterback position in the coming weeks."

Collins isn't nearly the player Manning is, and unlike his situation in Tennessee in recent years, there's absolutely no chance Collins somehow wins the starting job. But what he provides the Colts is a legitimate chance to win games if Manning isn't healthy to start the season, which is something we couldn't say about Painter or Orlovsky.

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Posted on: August 23, 2011 10:21 pm
 

Britt says he'll find out punishment this week

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

It was a long, unruly offseason for Kenny Britt -- you know, the arrests, the court appearances and the “Facebook hacking” -- and today, he met with commissioner Roger Goodell in New York to tell him about his summer-long excellent adventure (or his bogus journey, depending on how you feel about Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter).

Britt's Summer of Discontent
And once he returned to Nashville’s airport, Britt told the Tennessean everything went well.

“He didn’t scold me or anything. He was happy -- not happy that I was in there for those situations -- but he’s a nice type of guy, a very likable guy,’’ Britt said. “We’ll find out sometime later this week what he decides to do.”

Whether you agree with Goodell or think he should let bygones be bygones, it seems pretty likely that Britt will face some kind of suspension for his activities this summer – even though I agree with CBSSports.com’s Ryan Wilson when he writes that it’s “ludicrous” that Goodell can suspend a player when there was no CBA and when the players were prevented from coming to work by the owners.

But even so, Britt tries to remain positive.

“He asked me questions about certain situations and I told him what happened,’’ Britt told the newspaper. “I think it went well. I hope so. I have a smile on my face, I am still breathing. So everything is good.

“I'm still hoping nothing happens to me.”

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Posted on: August 23, 2011 2:54 pm
Edited on: August 23, 2011 3:28 pm
 

Chris Johnson to meet with Titans GM Reinfeldt

Posted by Will Brinson

The Chris Johnson holdout saga has reached somewhat of a breaking point. We're now just a few weeks away from Tennessee's season opener and not only is a deal "not close" but Titans owner Bud Adams is expressing frustration at the running backs' refusal to play.

So here's some potentially good -- or potentially "worst" -- news: Johnson is flying to Nashville Wednesday with his agent to meet with Titans GM Mike Reinfeldt.

"Flying out to Nashville tonight to meet with Joel and the GM in the morning to see which way were going," Johnson tweeted on Tuesday afternoon. "Could get better or worst."

So, yeah, no real "news" in terms of whether or not Johnson and Joel Segal (his agent) are actually going to make progress with the Titans on a new deal.

However, Johnson is actually showing up in Nashville, even if it's only to get in a conference room war of words about how much money currently divides the two sides.

So that's good news. In theory.

Chris Johnson's Holdout

Our own Ryan Wilson has made a compelling argument why the Titans shouldn't pay Johnson and it's hard to fault his the logic. Basically: Johnson's a running back and regardless of how talented and explosive a playmaker he may be, he's got a short shelf life and is much more replaceable than other players in the league.

The Titans surely know this and regardless of whether or not Johnson's saved up his money while expecting a lengthy holdout, are probably not willing to destroy their salary cap for the foreseeable future in order to make Johnson happy and get him into camp.

At the same time, there's no doubt that Johnson is one of the few true gamechangers at his position and arguably the most dynamic running back in the NFL.

He's been vastly underpaid to this point in his career and seems willing to do whatever's necessary to ensure he gets his money now. Whether or not either side is willing to compromise will determine whether things gets better or worst.

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