Chris Johnson may have designs on Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing record, but the Titans have other ideas. Last month, the team indicated that 2013 could be a backs-by-committee approach to running the ball.
This didn't sit well with Johnson, but since he's not signing the checks his opinion doesn't much matter. Which is why it's not surprising that Tennessee agreed to terms with Shonn Greene. It's a three-year, $10 million deal, that includes $4.5 million in guarantees, according to USA Today's Mike Garofolo.
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Greene comes to the Titans after four up-and-down seasons with the Jets. He averaged 5.0 yards per carry as a rookie in 2009 but rushed for just 540 yards. As his workload increased in subsequent years, his average per carry went south. Greene rushed for more than 1,000 yards in 2011 and 2012 but managed just 4.2 and 3.9 yards per touch, respectively.
In Tennessee, the 5-11, 225-pound Greene will serve as a change-of-pace back to the shifty and speedy Johnson. Whether Greene will get Johnson's touches in the red zone remain to be seen.
"Throughout all the years I've been in the league, when we get in the red-zone area they always put another guy in there," Johnson said in February. "I think people are making more than what it is. ... But if it comes down to a two-back system, I don't agree with that."
"I know I deserve them touches," he continued, "but at the end of the day, they're the coaches and I gotta go with whatever they're doing. I'm a team player, and if they feel like they can help us win by putting a bigger guy in there I'm not going to pout about it.
"But if it's a situation where it's a two-back system, I played in a two-back system in college [East Carolina] and I don't like it because you really can't get into a groove. That's something I wouldn't be happy with."
The Titans, meanwhile, probably aren't all that happy with Johnson's production. Which has a lot to do with why Greene was sign in the first place.
But it's not like this deal magically fixes things. According to ProFootballFocus.com, Greene was 16th in yards after contact per attempt (2.1 yards). NFL leader Adrian Peterson averaged 3.9. It gets worse: Greene forced just 15 missed tackles in 2012 (Peterson had 64), and Greene's highest total in there years is 22.
But maybe sharing the workload will be good for both Johnson and Greene, which is great news for third-year quarterback Jake Locker.