The news that Titans running back Chris Johnson didn’t show up for the start of Organized Team Activities should come as no surprise. The surprise would come only if Johnson shows up at any point in the offseason.
Since Johnson received a small signing bonus as a rookie in 2008, he faces only a small repayment obligation if he boycotts any mandatory offseason activities. Also, the fine for skipping out on a mandatory minicamp is in the range of $10,000 for the entire session; the stakes increase dramatically when a player begins to skip out on training camp.
Johnson wants a new contract, and the team’s obvious first line of defense will come from the application of the 30 percent rule, which makes it difficult to renegotiate an existing deal in an uncapped year. That probably won’t be good enough for Johnson, who has made it clear that he believes he should be getting paid like the top offensive players in the game.