The Tennessee Titans held their second on-field practice of the week on Thursday and once again Chris Johnson was absent. It is well-known at this point that Johnson desires an improved contract over the $12 million deal he signed in 2008 and has three years left on. It’s a shame that something couldn’t have been worked out during the off-season because the last thing this team needs right now are distractions, even at this very early point in the year.
Johnson’s absence from camp should be a surprise to nobody. He began talking about wanting more money as he was lying on the ground at Qwest Field in Seattle, seconds after passing 2000 yeards for the year in 2009. Okay maybe it wasn’t that early, but it wasn’t long after.
I do believe the Titans need to be realistic and although they might wish for Johnson to play under his current deal, that doesn’t seem to be likely. The Titans should make Johnson one of the top 10 to 15 highest paid players in the league. I do not believe they should break the bank and make Johnson the highest paid player in the league however, which is what many believe Johnson desires.
If he wants his paycheck to be on par with his performance that’s fine. If being the highest paid player in the league is an ego-thing then no way.
The Titans are in a precarious position as they enter the final year of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement. Due to a rule that curbs pay increases by 30%, the Titans only option to pay Johnson what he wants, if they decide to, might be writing a fat check right now and paying it up front.
What does everyone think? Should the Titans give Chris Johnson whatever he wants? If Johnson demands to be the the highest paid player in the league, what should the team do?