Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson wants to be shown da monay!
This whole Chris Johnson thing just keeps getting sillier. If you’re behind, Chris Johnson is set to make 800K and is clearly worth more than that but how much more is still under review. Chris Johnson wants Wide Receiver money, the Titans want to give him running back money.
From Titans Insider:
…the Larry Fitzgerald contract with the Arizona Cardinals (eight years, $120 million with $50 million guaranteed) will certainly complicate matters for the Titans in terms of money.
Johnson’s camp was already looking for “playmaker” money, far beyond the $21 million guaranteed ($43 million total) forked over by the Carolina Panthers to running back DeAngelo Williams at the start of training camp that made Williams arguably the highest paid running back in the league. Adrian Peterson is making $10.72 million in base salary in the final year of his rookie deal, and Steven Jackson of the St. Louis Rams has a deal that is close in terms of overall pay to what Williams signed.
Couple things here. I’m tired of hearing people say that Larry Fitzgerald’s contract is going to complicate things for the Titans or any other team with a running back to resign. Any running back asking for elite wide receiver pay at a position that wears down really quickly simply isn’t reasonable, and that comparison shouldn’t be entertained. So, like, stop saying that.
Johnson’s agent Joel Segal has me stumped. I can’t figure out if he’s explained this to Johnson to no avail, or if he’s masterminding the numbers.
And sidebar: I don’t know the details of Fitz’s contract, but if the Eagles or Falcons ever signed a WR for that much money (EVEN IF IT WAS LARRY FITZGERALD) I’d go into convulsions. Maybe Jeff Lurie and Joe Banner’s economical ways have rubbed off on me. Of course, the Falcons and Eagles aren’t heavily reliant on one player to put asses in seats as the Arizona Cardinals absolutely are.
Moving on, forget about wide receivers, even comparing running backs gets us into a little trouble. If we’re looking at Jackson, Williams and Johnson consider this fact. Right before the lockout ended, Carolina was 30.6 million under the salary cap, St. Louis was 35.7 under, and the Titans ?? They were 13.6 million under the cap.
It took some significant restructuring for Carolina to resign their center to a bigger contract as well as Deangelo Williams. At this point in the process, it’d be difficult for the Titans to restructure enough to give Johnson anything over 13 million. I’m no salary cap expert, but I gather that even that contract might be structured oddly. Right now the Titans are just under 7 million under the salary cap. And the Panthers, for example, are about 2.5 million under with not much left to do.
At this point, it may be a question of whether Johnson wants money or whether he wants to play for the Titans. I would compare this to newly minted Eagles Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. He could have gotten more money elsewhere in the league but wanted to play for Philly. He settled for less money to head to a contender. Johnson’s considerations are different–no one is chanting Superbowl for the Titans this year–but ultimately if your asking price is too high it all comes down to how much you want to stay.
For what it’s worth, I think the Titans have been way too public with their comments and have contributed to making this a standoff. If you remember, a few weeks ago they said they’d contacted Johnson and told him they wanted to make him the highest paid running back in the NFL. Chris Johnson responded by saying that he hadn’t been contacted. In other words, he accused the organization of lying. One thing I think the Eagles do better than a lot of teams is draw a hard line in terms of what they’re willing to pay. And when they draw the line, they mean it.
Have the Titans put down a final offer? Cause there’s only two weeks left until the season begins and Johnson hasn’t practiced once. He’s also lost a year toward free agency based on the new rules. I really didn’t think this thing would get dragged into the regular season, but it looks more and more likely. Titans Insider quotes Bud Adams as saying:
“I’m not gonna make any offer with the way he’s acting. Life’s too short,” Adams said.