Chris Johnson probably won’t be ready to return to work when the owners and the players finally reach a deal to end the lockout — unless he reaches his own deal on a new contract with the Titans.
Although Johnson is saying the right things about being more focused on getting better as a player than getting paid more, Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean reports that Johnson wants a new deal, and he won’t show up for training camp without one.
Wyatt reports that multiple sources have said Johnson won’t budge on his contract demands, and if he has to sit out before he can get a new deal, that’s what he’ll do.
Johnson showed up to player-organized workouts last week and declined to complain about his current deal, but that shouldn’t be misconstrued as a sign that he’s happy. Last year Johnson said he’d demand a “history deal” — by which he presumably meant the biggest contract for a running back in NFL history — before he’d play in 2011. He hasn’t changed his mind.