Last year, the biggest story coming out of NFL training camps was the lengthy holdout of Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis. This year, the biggest story coming out of NFL training camps (if there are NFL training camps) may be a similar situation with Titans running back Chris Johnson.
We’ve previously noted that Johnson is likely to hold out without a new deal, and today a report from Jason La Canfora of NFL Network suggests that whenever the lockout ends, Johnson and the Titans are likely to start from a position where they’re far apart on what a new deal should look like.
Johnson is due $800,000 in 2011, a bargain for a player of his production, and the Titans have him locked up for the 2012 season as well. So the team is perfectly content to hold the line.
But Johnson has suggested that he believes he’s among the truly elite players in the NFL and deserves to be paid as such, perhaps with a new deal guaranteeing him $30 million or more. Johnson may be looking for a deal similar to the huge contract Revis got when his holdout ended.
There are obvious differences between the Johnson and Revis situations — there won’t be as big a media frenzy in Tennessee as there was in New York, and the Titans aren’t expected to be on Hard Knocks — but if the lockout ends in time for players to report for work in July, Johnson likely won’t be there. And as training camps progress into August and September, Johnson may hold out for a Revis-sized contract.