- By NFL.com Wire Reports
Any chance that Chris Johnson will hold out of Tennessee Titans training camp ended Monday, when the sides struck a deal that will pay the All-Pro running back $2 million this coming season, a league source told NFL Network insider Michael Lombardi.
Johnson’s agent, Joel Segal, didn’t reveal figures of the deal, although he confirmed its completion in a text message to The Associated Press. However, Johnson didn’t sound so certain in a text message to the NFL Network news desk Monday afternoon.
“I haven’t agreed to ne thing yet,” he said.
The Titans declined to confirm the deal.
According to The AP, the Titans turned incentives that were scheduled to be paid in 2012 into part of Johnson’s 2010 compensation. Johnson was scheduled to receive a $550,000 base salary, making him the lowest-paid running back on Tennessee’s roster.
Johnson remains set to receive base salaries of $800,000 in 2011 and $960,000 in 2012.
Johnson classified contract talks as being “at a standstill” Wednesday night. He also said a short-term pay hike would be OK, despite previously demanding a long-term deal with at least $30 million guaranteed.
Johnson, a two-year pro, expressed displeasure with his five-year, $12 million contract after he led the league with 2,006 rushing yards last season. He also was the NFL Offensive Player of the Year, and as such, he said he wanted to be the league’s highest-paid offensive player.
However, team officials insisted Johnson was under contract for three more years and that rules limiting pay hikes to 30 percent in the NFL’s labor agreement made it impossible to give him a huge raise. Almost all of the money for a new long-term deal would have been paid up front, which the Titans weren’t willing to do.
Johnson skipped all of the Titans’ organized team activities and minicamp this offseason to show his unhappiness. However, he should be at training camp when it opens July 31.
Johnson now can focus on reaching his next goal — Eric Dickerson’s NFL rushing record of 2,105, set in 1984. Johnson already ranks behind just Dickerson (3,318) and Edgerrin James (3,262) for the most yards in the first two years of a career with 3,234.
Johnson also will try to match Barry Sanders’ record of 14 consecutive 100-yard rushing games after finishing the 2009 season with 11 in a row.
Kent’s Take On What to look for now
Many of you may be wondering what to look for now that the fire has been contained so to speak. First, I would expect for the Titans to concentrate on shoring up players that they want to bring in as a depth or possible starter capacity such as Kevin Mawae (still unsigned) and Keith Bulluck (has yet to work out for a team and thus still unsigned). Bulluck could possibly sign during training camp now that second year Linebacker Gerald McRath will be facing a 4 game suspension for violation of the leagues Performance Enhancing Substance Abuse Policy. Will Witherspoon is a viable candidate to take over Bulluck’s starting role but with an ailing David Thornton and not much promising depth, aside from rookie Rennie Curran, I would look for the Titans to work out Keith and sign him to a 2 year contract with a majority of the money being front loaded for this year, to face paying cap penalties for next season.
Main Article Courtesy of NFL.com