It widely was believed in the days and weeks preceding the negotiation of a new contract between the Titans and running back Chris Johnson that as much as $2.5 million in future money to be paid to Johnson under his current contract would be moved into 2010.
In the end, only $1.25 million was accelerated from 2012.
A league source with knowledge of the new deal, and the old deal, tells us that the Titans moved $1.25 million in escalators triggered by Johnson during the first two years of his career into 2010, reducing Johnson’s 2012 base salary from $2.210 million to $960,000.
The $1.25 million was paid to Johnson as a signing bonus, due most likely to the realities of the 30-percent rule, which limited the Titans to a salary increase of only $165,000.
So, in the end, Johnson will still earn a base salary of $550,000 in 2010. But Johnson received $1.25 million to add his John Hancock to the new deal.
The fact that the Titans robbed 2012 to pay 2010 suggests that both sides contemplate that a new deal will be done before Johnson gets to 2012 and wonders where in the hell his $1.25 million in base salary went.
UPDATE: The contract also includes incentives that total of $235,000, based on rushing for 700 yards and averaging 4.5 yards per carry. If reached, Johnson’s total compensation would be $2.035 million.