Titans running back Chris Johnson, the 2009 Associated Press offensive player of the year, has boycotted the entire offseason program in protest of a contract that pays him base salaries that fail to reflect his value to the team.
But he’s not upset with the team, despite its failure to give him a hefty raise.
“I like my team. I’m not mad,” Johnson said Monday, according to Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean. “I am not sure what is
going to happen. I am just working out right now trying get stronger and
faster, and just been focusing on my workouts. I’ve been trying not to
pay attention to anything else, really.”
The Titans have five more practices before breaking for several weeks until training camp opens. Johnson has faced no fines as a result of his absences, because the Titans employed no mandatory offseason minicamps this year.
Coach Jeff Fisher has said that he’d like to meet with Johnson, and Johnson has said he’s willing to do it — but only at Johnson’s football camp.
“I will meet with [Fisher] at my youth camp if he wants,” Johnson said.
“I didn’t ask him to come, but if he comes, he comes. But I am only
coming in for my youth camp.”
Though Johnson won’t talk about when he plans to report for work, a growing number of league insiders believe that he’ll comply with the 30-day rule, which requires a player under contract to show up at least 30 days before the start of the regular season or lose a year of credit toward free agency.
Offseason participation or not, Johnson has big plans for 2010. “I am just focusing on trying to stay in shape and being ready when I am
back on the field,” Johnson told Wyatt. “My mind has
been on one goal, to continue to be the best running back in the league.
I’ve had a great offseason. I plan on being even better than I was last
If Johnson plays even better than he did in 2009, it could be time to throw out the record books. And, if it hasn’t already happened by then, it’ll be time for the Titans to tear up Johnson’s contract.