With the preliminary report modestly stating that he got a monster deal, did the Titans do the right thing to give Johnson what he wanted?
$13 million a year for 4 years….. That doesn’t guarantee Pro Bowl’s or a Lombardi Trophy but it does guarantee that the Titans won’t have to defend against Chris Johnson. Sometimes the best move is to keep talent off the other teams and the Titans did that today.
It’s easy to argue that the Titans owed Johnson money, though, contractually speaking, they did not. Johnson holds the most yards rushing over the pas 3 years, he screams franchise player, he gives the team an identity and solidifies an important position on the team for the next 4 years, barring injury.
The Titans gave Johnson $30 million guaranteed over 4 years. While it’s great to keep one of the greatest assets in the league on your team, it’s also great to manage the cap situation. Hasselbeck and Chris Hope likely won’t finish their contracts and I’m sure that others will be ‘cap casualties’ later on.
Is it worth it? If they win the Super Bowl it is. Johnson might be the greatest running back in the NFL right now, so for the immediate future it was very much worth the money. Though, it was smart of the team to limit the deal to 4 years due to the short shelf life of RB’s. Johnson most likely will continue to be a star for this team for the duration of the deal and that only heightens whatever chances of winning the Lombardi Trophy the team will have for the next 4 years.
The presence of Johnson will also alleviate pressure off newcomer QB Matthew Hasselbeck, helping him through what are sure to be tough times when the team plays the heavyweights: Steelers, Patriots, and Bengals (I’m kidding). The combination of Hasselbeck and Johnson may even lift the team up far enough to be playoff contenders. Once again, for the immediate future, this deal is one of the greatest things to ever happen to the Titans.
Let’s just hope Johnson doesn’t suffer any hamstring pulls or twisted ankles due to missing training camp. It’s more likely now than ever and any injury to Johnson could cost the team a few games, despite how good Javon Ringer and rookie Jamie Harper have looked this pre-season.
Now we can all stop talking about contracts and get on with football!