Dec 29, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson (28) runs with the ball to score a touchdown as Houston Texans safety Shiloh Keo (31) attempts to tackle during the second half at LP Field. The Titans beat the Texans 16-10. Mandatory Credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports
As the offseason has started to unravel, I am already thinking ahead of the direction the Tennessee Titans will move for the upcoming season.
In recent news the Titans secured RB Jackie Battle by signing him to a new one-year contract to remain with the team. His primary use is as the third running back on the depth chart as well as a special teams player.
The Titans also enter the season with RB Shonn Greene as the second string running back on the depth chart. It’s ironic we have the second and third string lined up, but the No. 1 spot is still under a lot of speculation.
If my wish were to come to fruition Chris Johnson would remain on the roster moving forward. In a perfect world, I would like for him to restructure his contract so we can go after some free agents this summer including OLB Brian Orakpo on the Washington Redskins.
President and CEO Tommy Smith made it clear during a speech to current and potential season ticket holders that he wouldn’t be afraid to spend money and be aggressive to go after players they truly want. That remains to be seen.
By CJ restructuring his contract it would certainly increase his likelihood of remaining with the team that drafted him and also give the team more spending power in free agency.
On one side of the spectrum I see why CJ is reluctant to reduce his salary – he is nearing the 30-year-old mark, a dreaded age for running backs, and wants to secure his future financially for life after football. On the other side of the spectrum, his production doesn’t yield the amount of money he is earning.
Despite the critics and naysayers, CJ is without a doubt one of the best running backs in the league still, and will prove it if he is let go and free to sign with another team. The only stipulation is that I guarantee no other team would sign him to the money he is currently earning with the team.
One of the biggest decisions that will decide in CJ’s fate in Nashville is whether or not Whisenhunt feels that he will cater his offense around him. If the Titans plan to turn to an aerial attack with a healthy Jake Locker and promising, young wide receiver corps then you have to wonder if $10 million will be allotted to CJ.
My only request is that the decision on CJ is made sooner rather than later. We need to enter the draft knowing if he is going to be on the roster or not, because that will greatly influence the draft strategy of the team.