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Chris Johnson


Chris Johnson and THE TRUTH About NFL Contracts

Chris Johnson Wants to Get to the Money! Deal with it America!

Yesterday the sports world entered an uproar over Chris Johnson telling “fake Titans fans” to leave him the entire hell alone about his contract negotiations. Johnson said he really doesn’t care if people think he’s greedy and that people shouldn’t be comparing themselves to his situation.

Granted, it’s always a lot less hassle to keep those kinds of thoughts to yourself, but Chris is alluding to two things I think are important:

1. Fans need to grasp the concept of market value. Athletes are paid a lot of money because A LOT OF MONEY IS MADE OFF OF THEM. Athletes are one of the few classes of employees left that are actually still paid comparable to what their bosses make. Just because the rest of America doesn’t mind toiling away for a fraction of what the executives take home doesn’t mean athletes should adapt to that sort of mentality.

I said before that I don’t think it’s realistic for Johnson to ask for what I would consider “elite wide receiver” money, but a significant raise he is due. Not just because he’s good but because he puts the team in a position to make more money. No, the Titans aren’t going to the super bowl just because they have Johnson. But watching football is more than about winning-it’s about great moments in sports. And Johnson provides such moments and puts asses in LP Field seats.

2. For NFL players, contracts are contracts. For NFL owners, they’re “tentative agreements.” When a player wants more money, they’re under contract. When they’d like to leave a team, they’re under contract. But when a team decides to cut a player, they’re simply breaking the agreement. When a team forces a player to either restructure or leave, they’re simply breaking the agreement. Fans see very little issues with teams cutting players under contract but when players ask for raises, suddenly there is this sense that everyone should just abide by the original terms.

To Johnson’s credit, he did call his detractors “fake fans.” That’s a great save and does have some validity. How much of a fan can you be if you don’t understand that there is a business side to the sport you love? That’s not to say we all have to agree that Johnson is right to hold out, but thinking this is as simple as “just stick to your contract” isn’t very smart.

As the Toronto Sun put it:

Part of what makes the NFL so attractive to its middle-class fan base is its stark divide between rich and poor (comparatively speaking). Contracts are conditional on health and performance. This year’s star is next year’s construction worker. Everyone but the gilded few is one turned ankle or two consecutive fumbles away from unemployment.

And that’s the damn truth!  Given how quickly running backs wear down, this may be Johnson’s last chance to get to the money!

Speaking of which, Albert Breer defends Johnson on Worth checking out.

For what it’s worth, I did check Johnson’s mentions and the vast majority of folks are in support of him, but it looks like some of the racist things got him a little upset. Plus, this whole situation has GOT to be stressful. I mean Bud Adams is not your typical owner and the Titans aren’t your typical organization. It’s not unlikely that Johnson could end up not playing for the Titans this year. The depth of dysfunction in Tennessee is pretty striking. This isn’t Robert Kraft we’re dealing with. I mean crazy ass Cortland Finnegan is using his locker right now.






Titans Owner Says “Life is Too Short” To Deal With The Way Chris Johnson is Acting

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.



Titans Chris Johnson Should (and will) Hold Out For At Least 5 Million

It’s frustrating to even talk about new contracts when teams aren’t even allowed to communicate with players. But shit, what the hell! Let’s jump into it.

Chris Johnson SHOULD get a new deal, and not just because I’m anxious for him to never rap again. I’m not into head to head competition but if someone said Chris Johnson is the best running back in the league right now, I wouldn’t raise an eyebrow or ask how they came to that conclusion. It doesn’t make sense for a player of his caliber to earn 800K a year ESPECIALLY at the most short lived position in the league. Even in this pass oriented league, running backs get worn down quickly especially in this age of gianormous defenders.

Despite the Titans being perennially challenged in the win column and having quarterback and coach drama galore Johnson, who is still under his rookie contract, has been productive.

A three-time Pro Bowler, Johnson has surpassed 1,000 rushing yards in each of his first three seasons, and in 2009, became the sixth NFL player ever to rush for 2,000 yards in a season.

The Titans drafted Jake Locker and most of the news coming out of Tenneesee is pointing to him starting right away now that Vince Young is no longer their guy. What better asset to a team that has a new QB than to be able to pass to a productive running back. I’d say that’s even more of a benefit than having an elite wide receiver since new QBs tend to struggle completing and need reliable options for shorter passes.

Locker in particular comes into the league with some accuracy issues:

While Locker’s rushing numbers at Washington are impressive — 1,939 yards and 29 touchdown — Palmer points out that he has plenty of room for improvement in other facets.

The biggest knock on Locker is passing accuracy. His career completion percentage was 53.92, lower than the other top quarterbacks drafted this year. In this film session, however, Palmer shows only completions.

On some plays, Locker’s footwork is sloppy as he gets anxious in the pocket. Palmer shows a play against BYU. Locker fails to show enough patience to let a screen develop. He rolls too wide, causing the play to break down.

Palmer also shows plays that Locker makes look easy but will be far more difficult in the NFL with ball-hawking safeties such as Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu lurking.



Ray Rice, Chris Johnson, and Matt Forte Finalists for FED Ex Player of the Week

You have until noon on Friday to vote for the Ravens’ Rice, the Bears’ Forte, or the Titans’ Johnson at

Baltimore Raven Ray Rice

Ray Rice rushed for 133 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-17 win over Denver.

Matt Forte, who had 166 yards and two touchdowns in a 23-6 win over Carolina.

Chris Johnson had 131 yards with two scores in a 34-27 win over Dallas.

$2000 is donated to Safe Kids Worldwide in the winning player’s name.

You can also vote for David Garrard, Vince Young, or Shaun Hill in the Fed Ex AIR Player of the Week Contest at the same link.

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