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Titans release RB Chris Johnson

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

Chris Johnson was released by the Titans Friday.
Chris Johnson was released by the Titans Friday. (USATSI)

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The Chris Johnson era in Tennessee is officially over. The Titans informed the running back -- and the rest of the world -- he'd be released on Friday afternoon.

The actual release ended weeks of speculation about when Johnson would get cut; it was never going to end differently barring a last-second trade opportunity.

“As an organization, we want to thank Chris for his contributions to the Titans. Chris produced many memorable moments, broke franchise records and was durable over his six year career with our team," Titans GM Ruston Webster said in a statement. “We have had an open dialogue with Chris' agent, Joel Segal, over the last few weeks, and we appreciate the patience and professionalism they have shown throughout this process. We made an effort to trade Chris but were unable to do so.

“We wish Chris the best and thank him for the six seasons he spent with us.”

Johnson was drafted in the first round (24th overall) by the Titans during the 2008 NFL Draft. A speedy back out of East Carolina, many were surprised when he went that high, primarily because there were concerns about him being an every-down back.

CJ2K, as he came to be known, put those fears to rest quickly.

Johnson ran for 1,228 yards his rookie season and scored nine touchdowns. He then followed that season up with a mammoth 2,006-yard rushing season (2,509 yards from scrimmage) that earned him his moniker.

Though he hasn't been consistent on a game-by-game or carry-by-carry basis, Johnson's topped 1,000 yards rushing in every single one of his NFL seasons.

There should be ample interest in Johnson on the free-agent market, though he'll likely have to enter a timeshare and take a paycut. Such is life for even the most famous and productive running backs in today's NFL.

Tennessee will save $6 million against the cap (and take a $4 million hit in dead money) with the release of Johnson, who was slated to earn $8 million this season.

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