Blog Entry

Could Titans part ways with Chris Johnson?

Posted on: November 6, 2011 9:58 am
Edited on: November 7, 2011 11:13 am
What's going on with Chris Johnson in Tennessee? (US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

It's Week 9 and Titans running back Chris Johnson, one of the NFL's best players right up till the moment he signed that huge contract in the offseason, has a grand total of 302 yards this season.

Things have gotten so bad so fast that head coach Mike Munchak had to publicly announce that he had no plans to bench his running back. And there's even talk that the organization could choose to walk away from Johnson at some point in the near future. NFL Network's Jason La Canfora broke down Johnson's contract details Sunday on NFL GameDay Morning.

"[The Titans] looked at this as a long-term deal … but there are always certain caveats. [Johnson] got $30 million guaranteed. Thirteen million of it came this year -- that was fully guaranteed. The other $17 million is not at this point fully guaranteed for injury and skill -- just injury.

"So because of diminished production, he could be let go at some point. Eight million of that $17 million will come the fifth day of the league year in 2012 -- in March -- the other $9 million comes a year after that. Then it becomes fully guaranteed for both.

"So conceivably, [the Titans] could get out after one year for $13 million. After two years, if this continues into 2012, for $22 million. And if [Johnson] doesn't get 1,000 yards rushing this year, $300,000 comes off his $8 million salary in 2012."

A league source tells's Mike Florio that several teams think Tennessee could release Johnson before the fifth day of the 2012 league year precisely for the reasons La Canfora outlined above.

Johnson's productivity falling off a cliff is certainly surprising -- the man averaged 1,500 rushing yards per year in his first two seasons (including 5.0 yards per carry) -- but the real story here is the organization's decision to give a running back a huge pay day.

We wrote about it three months ago before Johnson got his money and we'll mention it again in the hopes that other teams learn from Tennessee's mistake: of all the positions on an NFL roster, running back is among the easiest to replace. The takeaway: don't devote a non-trivial slice of the salary cap to them because there are certain to be bigger, harder-to-fill needs on the team.

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Since: May 22, 2007
Posted on: November 7, 2011 11:26 am

Could Titans part ways with Chris Johnson?

It's almost comical...guys like Matt Forte aren't making a dime more, and the Bears don't appear to care. Chris Johnson used to be a good RB, but his fall from grace after signing a big contract is laughable. I have no idea what the Titans were thinking...they could use Javon Ringer and he would be just as good or better. The fact is they actually thought they have a chance to win their division with Peyton Manning out for the year, and hence the great deal for CJ2K...or more appropriately named, CJNoK.

Arian Foster is making $400K as another poster mentioned, but you know, Foster isn't saying a word, and the Texans are doing the right thing...they are probably negotiated, but I like Foster's style, and if it were my team, I wouldn't negotiate with CJ2K until hewas in camp...but the Titans caved in and now they surely regret it.

It's really sad, not just for the Titans, but the Titans' fans.

Since: Sep 22, 2011
Posted on: November 7, 2011 11:21 am

Could Titans part ways with Chris Johnson?

Foster hasn't signed an extension yet... so half of your point is invalid.

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: November 7, 2011 10:35 am

Could Titans part ways with Chris Johnson?

Arian Foster is making $400,000 this season. lumpoco should stick to the WNBA threads.

Since: Sep 5, 2008
Posted on: November 7, 2011 9:59 am

Could Titans part ways with Chris Johnson?

Too too bad the Titans decided to cave to JaMarcus Johnson's demands and pay him the money.  More proof that once some of these idiots get that wad in their wallets they no longer care, the desire is lost, the excuses are everywhere and worse of all they actually hurt the players that care and give all.  Look what this will do up in Chicago, right now he's running and catching his a$$ off and getting the NFL equivilance of nothing.  Things like this the NFLPA should make an outright statement or at the very least his team mates.  Oh yeah, neither of them can because that would take guts.

Since: Jun 13, 2007
Posted on: November 7, 2011 2:13 am

Could Titans part ways with Chris Johnson?

The man CJ2K has 366 rushing yards on 107 attempts in eight games for a game average of 45.75 yds with 3.4 ypc.  Those numbers are as close to the best running back in Titan's history, Earl Campbell.  Then again, maybe not.  If CJ can't get going, the Titans could trade him to the Browns for Peyton Hillis.  Because both of these guys waste oxygen, each team will reduce its carbon footprint with the trade.  CJ2K has eaten up enough cap space that the Titans won't be able to sign any free agents for the next five years.  The TItans will be an 8-8 team if not worse for the next few years.  The player screams, cries and talks about respect and he has turned into dead weight between the lines.  I hope every team remembers that a franchise should not give a running back so many big dollars that it kills your cap space for the future.  To earn forgiveness, CJ should work on his pass blocking and then maybe he will be useful in the passing game.  His running surely isn't helping set up the pass.

Since: Nov 25, 2006
Posted on: November 7, 2011 1:57 am

Could Titans part ways with Chris Johnson?

I think Chris Johnson is a joke, but why is the guy below hating on Foster? I'm not a texans fan but he is having a great year after being injured the first three games. Also I don't know him personally, but I follow him on twitter and he seems very educated and has a good head on his shoulders.

Since: Nov 6, 2011
Posted on: November 6, 2011 7:04 pm

Could Titans part ways with Chris Johnson?

I have never heard so many comments from the announcers about a quarterback in one game before in my entire life. I am getting sick of hearing about this Andy Dalton guy. He is a good quarterback but he isnt a god. Maybe you guys should invest in some new commentators. It would be very appreciated. Sincerely, An Angry CBS viewer. 

Since: Dec 6, 2009
Posted on: November 6, 2011 6:03 pm

Could Titans part ways with Chris Johnson?

Hey lump I agree with most of your rant, but when I read Frank Gore is the only running back that did not play poorly after a new contract I knew you were a 49ers fan. That being said, and myself being a vikings fan, I think Mr. Adrian Petterson has played pretty well after his extension don't you? 

Since: Dec 16, 2006
Posted on: November 6, 2011 5:09 pm

Could Titans part ways with Chris Johnson?

The NFL record for yards from scrimmage and an average of 1500 yds per year is often done by overrated chumps...fool.

Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: November 6, 2011 4:47 pm

Could Titans part ways with Chris Johnson?

I have said it before and I will say it again. Chris Johnson is the most overrated and overpaid running back in the league and that wass long before he had a hissy fit and complained about being underpaid and not being able to feed his fmaily and make payments on his bevy of exotic sports cars.

If I was the featured back in a one dimensional offense I too would be racking up hugge numbers to justify a big salary. Sadly, CJ3PO or CJ "Megatron" or whatever "cute" name  people call him thses days Johnson will prove that if he is not the featured player his stats will drop, he will pout and will accuse his teammates of being "gay" or racist. Am I describing Terrell betcha! But this applies to Johnson and Arian Foster as well. 

About the only running back that did not play poorly after signing a big contract or extension is Frank Gore....but guys you already knew what a great person he is. In comparison Johnson and Foster are very immature whiny school kids who complain until they get what they want...when they DO get what they want....they fail to live up to their new contract. So I end by asking this question.Who's getting pawned now? The Titans and Texans for giving in to their "star" running backs and getting poor performances or Johnson and Foster who continue to prove that most athletes who sign a big contract...stink it up, coast, fake getting injured...whatever you want to call it. They are just not as productive as before. Maybe it's that Johnson and Foster have been afflicted with BMCJ...that's Big Money Contract Jinx!...not to be confused with the Madden Cover jinx......but both are equally devastating to players careers.


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