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Chris Johnson may be this year’s Darrelle Revis

Chris Johnson, Jacob Lacey AP

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.

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43 Responses to “Chris Johnson may be this year’s Darrelle Revis”
  1. rushbacker says: Jun 24, 2011 3:58 PM

    They’re going to have to pay the guy at some point.

  2. hrmlss says: Jun 24, 2011 4:02 PM

    Running backs are $10 million a dozen, let him sit.

  3. dbellina says: Jun 24, 2011 4:02 PM

    The Vikings need to re-work Adrian Peterson’s contract before Chris Johnson gets his new deal.

  4. waldoampere says: Jun 24, 2011 4:08 PM

    Johnson is an excellent player who deserves to get paid, especially since running backs have such short careers. That being said, he’s not Revis.

  5. bowsi says: Jun 24, 2011 4:08 PM

    Maybe Chris will should show up at the courthouse in Minni when the league and the players are trying to finalize a new CBA and advise judge Nelson that the new CBA does not work for him!

  6. berniemadoffsides says: Jun 24, 2011 4:16 PM

    The Titans should’ve drafted Taiwan Jones for leverage – he’s just a clone of Chris Johnson. Maybe it would’ve made CJ realize his speed is rare, but not irreplaceable. Chris Johnson has a darn good offensive line in front of him.

    RB’s are not worth $10M/year unless they’re guys like Walter Payton, Marshall Faulk or Ladanian Tomlinson – guys who, for several years, could basically walk on water. Instead, you solidify your offensive line and then you draft a 2nd round RB (aka… Chris Johnson) who does his job for 5 years, then you draft his replacement. Repeat process, win Super Bowls.

  7. vbe2 says: Jun 24, 2011 4:26 PM

    The thing I most remember about him is that when the Titans needed him the most… in the Playoffs, he was on the bench with a hood over his head.

    Give him a huge contract and he’ll be out of the league in less than 5 years.

  8. forthelove says: Jun 24, 2011 4:27 PM

    RBs have short careers… to Chris Johnson, getting paid is likely now or never. Just ask Willie Parker and Larry Johnson.

  9. kspl1 says: Jun 24, 2011 4:30 PM

    Crazy of they don’t pay him. He’s one of a kind

  10. touchdownroddywhite says: Jun 24, 2011 4:40 PM

    So he didn’t live up to the hype he built last season, was given a reworked contract to shuffle his money around, and now will endanger his legacy even further by not training with his team when the time comes, setting the stage for another season that falls short of the 2500 yard mark he has vowed to hit?

    If you want your money, that is fine by me, but shut your mouth about setting incredible records if you’ll sit out for cash instead of working to hit the mark you so dearly covet.

  11. canuck54143 says: Jun 24, 2011 4:56 PM

    Owners should make sure the new CBA includes a claus that players under contract can be sued for breach of contract if they hold out during reg season. I’m tired of hold outs every year, and players holding teams hostage.

  12. 00reo says: Jun 24, 2011 4:56 PM

    The Titans will offer him a good deal but the last I heard he wanted QB money and he ain’t getting that. If that’s really want he wants, he’ll be sitting for a while.

  13. ahostiletakeover says: Jun 24, 2011 5:00 PM

    vbe2 says: Jun 24, 2011 4:26 PM The thing I most remember about him is that when the Titans needed him the most… in the Playoffs, he was on the bench with a hood over his head. Give him a huge contract and he’ll be out of the league in less than 5 year

    I’m a Ravens fan and if I recall the instance you are speaking of was the Titans Ravens divisional matchup in ’08. And if I recall he was supposedly injured in the game to explain his bench behavior. Whether he really was or not we don’t know, what I do know is that is he stayed in that game the Ravens wouldn’t have won..

  14. Dynasty says: Jun 24, 2011 5:07 PM

    Titans will clearly see the sky fall if this guy is not on the field! If they want to compete for the #1 Pick in next years draft then don’t sign him. Because without CJ2K this team is reeeaallly terrible!

  15. nflcommissioner says: Jun 24, 2011 5:14 PM

    The Eagles may be this years Panthers

  16. FinFan68 says: Jun 24, 2011 5:22 PM

    Johnson has been a productive player and deserves to get a pay raise–when his contract comes due. Like many, his deal was “frontloaded” and now he is looking at the remaining compensation and saying it isn’t enough. That’s garbage.

    If he was a mediocre player that was barely able to stay in the league at this point, he would not have the mindset that he didn’t deserve the “overpayment”. The fact is that he signed a deal and that deal was based on what he believed his value would be. Same goes for the team.

    The argument that player contracts are not guaranteed is not exactly valid. Teams rarely cut productive players, and when they do, it is usually a cap issue or the player has other “issues”. Those “good” players that do get cut usually sign with another team, therefore there is no real issue since they negotiate a new contract at that point. The ones that don’t get picked up were no longer living up to their part of the contract anyway or they simply were too old or thought they were worth more than they were offered. That’s on the player.

    My point is, if a player wants to scream about “outplaying” his contract, then there should be no complaints when a team decides to “renegotiate” early for less money.

  17. backuppunter says: Jun 24, 2011 5:24 PM

    on the one hand johnson deserves more money, on the other hand if he signs a long term deal his best years will probably be behind him before the contract is half over. not to mention that it seems like whenever players do this they have a bad year or at least a slow start. even though i think he deserves more money the titans might be better off getting rid of him.

  18. jameswestphal says: Jun 24, 2011 5:28 PM

    You mean he’s not going to win a Super Bowl?

  19. slicknick4ever says: Jun 24, 2011 5:28 PM

    Wow I can’t believe the Titans are getting such a bargain on him right now. They better pay him or else there will be a ton of teams lining up for him. Especially teams that will have to reach the new “salary floor” of 90%.
    One way or another the guy is gonna get paid, and it’s well deserved.

  20. transam7816 says: Jun 24, 2011 5:37 PM

    Titans have no choice but to pay the man

  21. canetic says: Jun 24, 2011 5:42 PM

    I will bet that he’ll have the same number of interceptions as Revis did last year — zero.

  22. silverbuffalo says: Jun 24, 2011 5:45 PM

    Didn’t he do this last year too?

  23. rolltide510 says: Jun 24, 2011 5:46 PM

    Nah, better not pay CJ2K. The Titans will be able to break in the rookie QB they reached on without a good running game no problem.

  24. joesphkerr says: Jun 24, 2011 5:52 PM

    As a fan of the game, I just have to say that what they are paying him is a crime. I would guess that his current contract will, somewhere along the line, be brought up in the new CBA in regards to the length of new rookie contracts. I can see the union (or what ever they are calling themself), wanting to limit the length down to 3 years. After 3 years, you preform, such as CJ has done, you get your payday.

  25. thereisalwaysnextyear says: Jun 24, 2011 5:58 PM

    “There are obvious differences between the Johnson and Revis situations ”

    There is a bigger difference than the ones PFT noted. One is a shut down corner and the other is a RB. The value of a shut down corner has not gone down, and probably gone up in a pass happy league, all the while the value of a “star” running back has done nothing but go down over the past many years. There is the biggest difference.

  26. ctgiant says: Jun 24, 2011 6:00 PM

    Love to see him in New York, where Jacobs who did very little last year, 823yds, is suppose to get
    $4.62M, DUH? No way the gmenn will pay him that and Bradshaw who isn’t Chris Johnson, is looking for a big pay day as well, but got 1M last year. Seems to be fair, to work a new deal out?

  27. pacificnw7722 says: Jun 24, 2011 6:15 PM

    Well…..if the contract thing doesn’t work out, maybe he can cash in some gold teef?

  28. gotitan says: Jun 24, 2011 6:43 PM

    So what? He’s under contract, and as stated, this is Nashville, not N.Y. He’ll play, he won’t sit out for more than the preseason. He may get a contract, but as we know, the Titans don’t give contract, but pink slips. He’ll play. Drafted 23rd, he should have had a better contract from the begining. Don’t blame the Titans, they are the ones that knew his value, stick to your word or sit. If you don’t like it, sit. And please do not pretend the Titans don’t have a run game without him. Britt is a larger concern for the “O” at this point.

  29. cowboysfan18 says: Jun 24, 2011 6:58 PM

    Correct me if I’m wrong but you don’t have to sign a lengthy rookie deal, right. My guess is players sign longer rookie deals to cover their butts in case they aren’t as good as they thought they would be. Don’t kill me for this, but if you are confident in your ability to be a really good to great player, you would sign a shorter deal to make sure you get your money while still early in your career. He would have been coming off of a 1200 and 2000 yard season. My ? Would be, would being a RFA stop you from getting paid?

  30. stoutfiles says: Jun 24, 2011 7:01 PM

    All Johnson cares about is money. As an owner, I would not let my players walk over me and I’d expect them to honor the contracts they sign.

    The Titans won’t make the playoffs this year, so whether Johnson plays or sits is a moot point. I’d rather just save the money while setting a precedent for future players.

  31. NFLJunkie says: Jun 24, 2011 7:26 PM

    vbe2 says:

    The thing I most remember about him is that when the Titans needed him the most… in the Playoffs, he was on the bench with a hood over his head.

    Give him a huge contract and he’ll be out of the league in less than 5 years.

    ——————-

    Huh? You mean, after he put up 100 yards total offense and a TD in one half, before having his foot/ankle twisted like a pretzel at the bottom of a pile and suffering a high ankle sprain that lingered for a months, into the offseason program?

    Yeah, you gotta be careful what you pay ANY franchise RB because of the extra pounding they take over other positions. But CJ has shown himself to be pretty darn durable so far, and doesn’t deserve to be called out for missing the second half of that playoff game. The timing of the injury was bad, but sometimes s*** happens even to the durable guys.

  32. 6thsense79 says: Jun 24, 2011 9:26 PM

    Sigh….

    berniemadoffsides says:
    Jun 24, 2011 4:16 PM
    The Titans should’ve drafted Taiwan Jones for leverage – he’s just a clone of Chris Johnson. Maybe it would’ve made CJ realize his speed is rare, but not irreplaceable. Chris Johnson has a darn good offensive line in front of him.

    RB’s are not worth $10M/year unless they’re guys like Walter Payton, Marshall Faulk or Ladanian Tomlinson – guys who, for several years, could basically walk on water. Instead, you solidify your offensive line and then you draft a 2nd round RB (aka… Chris Johnson) who does his job for 5 years, then you draft his replacement. Repeat process, win Super Bowls.

    ————————————-
    bernie,

    Chris Johnson statistically is in the same class as LaDaninan Tomlinson after 3 years in the league.

    How does Chris Johnson’s first 3 years compare to some of the greatest backs to ever play and some of the best backs in the league today?

    Here are Johnson’s stats
    4598 rushing yards, 34 rushing tds, and 5.0 yd/carry average

    Now for some of the great

    Barry Sanders first 3 years in the league:
    4322 rush yds, 43 td, 4.92 yds/attempt

    Adrian Peterson first 3 years:
    4484 yds rushing, 40 td, 4.9 yds/carry

    Ladanian Tomlinson
    4564 yds rushing, 37 td, 4.45 yds/carry

    Erik Dickerson
    5147 yds rushing 44td 4.8yds/carry

    Emmit Smith
    4213yds rushing 41td 4.3yds/carry

  33. waldoampere says: Jun 24, 2011 9:27 PM

    “I will bet that he’ll have the same number of interceptions as Revis did last year — zero.”

    I would bet that if all the players in the league were released from their contracts and put into one large pool for a new draft, Revis would be taken before Johnson as well as before all the other DBs in the league who had more interceptions. He’s the best CB since Deion Sanders.

  34. 6thsense79 says: Jun 24, 2011 9:28 PM

    I’m reposting something I’ve posted specifically for you contract is a contract drones:

    You player haters really need to get a grip. This is how NFL business is conducted. NFL management has something that other sports leagues don’t have. They have the ability to cut a player at just about any point in the player’s contract and not have to pay the full amount. MLB doesn’t operate that way, the NHL doesn’t operate that way, and the NBA doesn’t operate that way.

    Yet you seem to think some great injustice is being done to teams or owners when players hold out in the middle of a contract.

    Yet I didn’t see anyone shed a tear for Thomas Jones when he had the best year of his career with the Jets (1300+ yards rushing and 10 td) yet was asked to take a pay cut and when he refused he got cut. And Jones isn’t the only one dozens of players every season are either forced by management to renogotiate their contract to something more favorable to the team or cut in the middle of a contract for a number of reasons (poor play, salary cap issues, found a better player at that position, whatever). Now I don’t fault the teams and understand this is just business. But I do understand that things cut both ways.

    In what other league can you give a player a $70+ million dollar contract and when they don’t perform like you thought they would the team can get out of it paying only $3.5 million?

    Even the poster boys for bad contracts Albert Haynesworth and Jamarcus Russell will never see the full value of the contracts they signed. Haynesworth will more than likely see about 40% of that $100 million dollar contract. Russell saw about about 50% of his $61 million dollar contract.

    What other sports league can get out of mistakes like those without paying full price? What other major sports league in this country has that luxury?

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again….if you as a fan don’t want holdouts then you must want fully guaranteed contracts other wise be quiet and understand this is how things are done in the NFL. Why is it that you don’t see NHL, NBA or MLB players ever holding out even when some of them have what’s considered below market contracts? Is it because they’re somehow more noble than NFL players and believe “a contract is a contract”? (Yea right). No it’s because the contract is guaranteed.

  35. dbellina says: Jun 24, 2011 9:33 PM

    “The Vikings need to re-work Adrian Peterson’s contract before Chris Johnson gets his new deal.”

    I said that because, once CJ2K signs his contract, AP is going to want one that is comparable.

  36. 6thsense79 says: Jun 24, 2011 9:49 PM

    Johnson is a top back in the league. Holds the record for most yards from scrimmage in a season and is comming off a season in which he put up 1300+ yards while facing 8 and sometime 9 man fronts. He deserves his money. The typical contract for a superstar RB is a 4-5 year contract worth around $40 – $50 million with gaurantees at $15-20 million dollars.

    I don’t know if that will still be the case under the new CBA but I do know that Chris Johnson’s first three years a comparable to the first 3 years of a number of hall of fame backs.

  37. footballisking says: Jun 24, 2011 10:01 PM

    I have only watched him play when he plays the steelers and for two years in a row he has completly shut it down and not even bother reporting for work once he got hit (i.e lebron james)…I know no1 runs the ball on the steelers but no other backs play that passive and scared

  38. nowathand twitter.com/Chris_M_Bach says: Jun 25, 2011 12:29 AM

    This could be a landmark moment in NFL history if the Titans stay pat.

    I believe Adrian Peterson is the best running back in football, but neither him nor CJ2K got sufficient blocking nor were getting enough receptions.

    Let’s assume Johnson is the 2nd best running back in the NFL. He can try sitting out but his potential contract is going to decrease each week if Javon Ringer and Jamie Harper are able to move the chains and the Titans offense steadily improves each week.

  39. andyreidisfat says: Jun 25, 2011 12:49 AM

    The titans should offer a 3-4 year deal/extension (in the same length) pating him what the top running backs are making as Johnson is no doubt a top running back.

    As far as getting the kinda money a QB or even a top flight CB gets is just not going to happen for him from any team in the league. I?f he will not play for top RB money then my guess is he won’t play at all. No matter his production its just to easy to find a running back that can do close to if not the same production.

    But i do believe the Titans owe him a new deal/extension. Just a short term one and if he is still producing at the end of that term then he can get paid again.

    Maybe the biggest thing the players have to realize after this CBA is that owners arn’t going to give out retarded big contracts anymore. The days of Nnamdi or Larry F getting huge contracts are over. The only position that will be as big as it was is QB. Everyone else is going to see a small drop in monyes offered. Especially the running back position. RB is positon that is by far the deepest in the NFL its not even close.

  40. jw731 says: Jun 25, 2011 2:32 AM

    Of course he wants to get paid, he’s put up gaudy numbers the least 3 years, and it took about 15 seconds for him to realize his rap career will not make him a dime.

  41. z0inks says: Jun 25, 2011 6:40 AM

    Titans can’t have their cake and eat it, too.

    They’ve built their entire offense around Chris Johnson, and they expect him to handle the ball 25-30 times per game. Simply put, Chris Johnson is the Titans’ offense.

    If they intend treat him like a franchise player, they’d better be prepared to pay him like one.

    It’s easy enough to say, “He should honor the contract he signed”….but a contract should be a two-way street that benefits both parties. If a team feels a player is underperforming, they have the ability to terminate the contract and walk away from the deal; the player does not have that option.

    When a player feels his contribution far exceeds his compensation (in CJ’s case, $12M total over five years) his ONLY recourse is to hold out.

    Having made him the epicenter of the team’s offensive approach for the foreseeable future, the Titans have little choice but to pay the man.

  42. diablito0402 says: Jun 25, 2011 7:22 AM

    It dont matter what his stats are or how good he is man he signed a contract and he has to honor it. Football aint no different than the other sports. I dont see people sitting out in basketball. Anyone who sits out or holds out shoul be sued for not honoring their contracts. These grown men should grow up. Everyone deserves a raise including me, but if i hold out ill get fired, and so should they, see my point.

  43. NFLJunkie says: Jun 25, 2011 3:37 PM

    I don’t have much sympathy for established vets who signed a second (or third) contract with significant bonus money, and then complain a couple of years in that they’re not getting paid enough. Those are the guys I think should just honor the contracts they signed.

    But I do understand guys like CJ, or Anquan Boldin or Maurice Jones-Drew as other examples, who were stuck with the slotted rookie deals that, unless you are drafted really early, don’t include much guaranteed money.

    Occasionally some later draft picks just flat outperform their draft class and vets alike, and their deals are just cookie-cutter contracts based on their draft position, not a negotiation based on their production as pros.

    So I don’t begrudge them angling for new deals before their rookie deals are up. Some guys, IMO, really have earned that right on the field. CJ is one.

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