“I feel like if they are not going to use me the way I am supposed to be used and let me be the horse, then I would rather them let me move on," Johnson said Tuesday, via the Tennessean. "Their money would be wasted on me. I feel like if they are not going to use me right, let somebody get me that's going to use me the right way.”
Chris Johnson tied for the 6th-most carries in the NFL this season. With 3.9 YPC, how could the Titans not give him more?— Pete Damilatis (@PFF_Pete) January 8, 2014
Johnson hasn't requested a trade, probably because he's scheduled to make $8 million in 2014, a payday he won't get anywhere else.
Way back in August 2011 we wrote why the Titans shouldn't pay Chris Johnson. Not because we thought the organization was cheap, or that Johnson was undeserving, but because running backs are, in general, a dime a dozen.
Of course, a short time later, the Titans gave Johnson a four-year, $53 million contract extension and he promptly posted career lows in rushing yards (1,047), yards per carry (4.0) and touchdowns (4). His numbers improved in 2012 but slipped again this season. He managed just 1,077 rushing yards, averaged 3.9 yards per carry, and despite playing in all 16 games, never had a run longer than 30 yards.
Johnson also had 279 carries in 2013, the most since 2010. Still, he wants more.
“No disrespect, I love Tennessee and would love to be in Tennessee," Johnson said. "But I feel like I am wasting the prime years of my career if I am not used right. You feel me? It is crazy to look at backs around the league and see the opportunities they have. I am not a coach, and I am not a GM. But if I am paying a player to make him the top-paid guy on the team, there is no way in critical situations that he is going to be on the sideline. Around the goal line, I'd come out.
“I want to help the team win," he continued. "People say, ‘He is not worth the $10 million, he is not worth the $8 million.' I feel like if you give me $8 million, let me earn it. At crucial times of the game, I shouldn't be on the sideline watching.”
The reality is that Johnson probably isn't worth $8 million a year. He ranked 17th in Football Outsiders' RB efficiency metric behind LeGarrette Blount and Andre Ellington, two players who make substantially less than he does.