Ex-Tennessee Titans RB Chris Johnson wishes he played different position
Former Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson wishes he had played another position during his NFL career.
When looking back at his NFL career, former Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson regrets playing the position that earned him the nickname “CJ2K.”
Johnson spoke to TMZ Sports about his career and made it quite clear he wishes he would have listened to his coaches when they advised him to play cornerback or wide receiver instead of running back.
“If I could do it all over again, when that coach came to me and told me, ‘You should switch your position to receiver or cornerback,’ I would have did it.”
That’s because running backs have been devalued over the years. While NFL teams can’t exactly find superstar running backs growing on trees, finding a quality starter at the position has become easier than other positions.
In a passing league, wide receivers and cornerbacks have become much more important, and the proof is in the pudding.
The highest-paid running back in the league at the moment, Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley, makes an annual average salary of a little over $14 million, per Over the Cap. As other running backs have found out, like Le’Veon Bell, you have to take drastic measures to even sniff that kind of salary. Dallas Cowboys back Ezekiel Elliot is currently going through that process.
At cornerback, the two highest-paid players, the Miami Dolphins’ Xavien Howard and the Washington Redskins’ Josh Norman, both make $15 million or more, per Over the Cap.
At wide receiver, the New Orleans Saints’ Michael Thomas, who just recently got his bag, is making $19.2 million annually. In total, there are 10 receivers making $15 million or more per year, per Over the Cap.
And if that wasn’t enough, the shelf life for those positions is far longer than that of a running back, as Johnson also pointed out to TMZ.
“I really believe in my head, if I played receiver or cornerback, I would still be playing in the league to this day and still making $15, $16 million a year at those positions.”
Wisely, Johnson will steer his twin sons away from running back should they choose to play the same sport as their father down the road.
“I’m going to make sure I keep them away from running back.”
Despite his regrets, Johnson was one hell of a running back in his prime and was one of the best at his position in Titans history. In 2009, Johnson ran for 2,006 yards and 14 touchdowns for the Titans. CJ2K is also one of seven running backs in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards.
Now at the age of 33, the accolades don’t mean as much to Johnson. He’d rather be playing football, and likely still would be had he chosen a different position.