“All this talk about them needing another running back to help C.J., it kind of made me upset. I’m like, ‘Man, they had some good running backs behind C.J., and they just never really got a chance.’ And because we were not able to play, it made it look like C.J. didn’t have any help. C.J. had some help, but they never used it. It’s frustrating.”
The above quote came from Javon Ringer, a running back who appeared in 37 games with the Tennessee Titans. Ringer was voicing his displeasure after Shonn Greene was signed to replace him as the No. 2 running back. From 2009-12, Ringer spent his entire Titans career behind Chris Johnson. His career totals include 120 carries for 486 yards and three rushing touchdowns. Currently, Ringer’s a free agent.
Shortly after free agency began in mid-March, the Titans signed Greene to a three-year, $10 million contract. His contract includes $4.5 million guaranteed money with a $2.5 million signing bonus. According to Rotoworld, Greene’s annual salary figures are as followed: 2013 ($1.65 million), 2014 ($2.3 million) and 2015 ($3.25 million).
Why Greene? The Titans are counting on him to become an effective complementary running back behind Johnson. Last season, Greene converted all 11 of his attempts on third-and-one. His aggressive downhill style should blend perfectly with Johnson’s explosiveness. The Titans are trying to recreate the “Smash and Dash” that they enjoyed with LenDale White (Smash) and Johnson (Dash) during the 2008-09 NFL season.
It’s worth noting that Peyton Hillis, Beanie Wells and Cedric Benson are all free agents who could perform a similar service for close to veteran’s minimum. At the same time, Greene only receives $4.5 million guaranteed monies. It appears as if most of that contract is frontloaded and there’s a realistic chance that management wouldn’t retain him beyond 2014. Not unless he earns it.
What do Titan Sized readers think? Could the Titans have saved money and signed another running back or even waited until Greene’s value declined? Was it a wise overpayment? Will Greene face opponents when he’s more valuable than Johnson? In a 2012-13 regular-season matchup against the Indianapolis Colts, Greene had 32 carries for 161 yards with three touchdowns. Favorable matchup against divisional foe?