Skip to content

Eddie George tells Titans: Pay Chris Johnson

Chris Johnson, Jacob Lacey AP

Eddie George, who led the Tennessee Titans (and Tennessee Oilers and Houston Oilers before that) in rushing in each of his first eight NFL seasons, says it’s past time for the Titans to pay Chris Johnson what he’s asking for.

“It definitely behooves everybody to make him happy so everybody can win,” George told Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean. “Does he deserve a new contract? Absolutely he does. He has outperformed his other one. It’s now time to stop messing around and get the deal done.”

The Titans’ stance is that they want Johnson to end his holdout and report to training camp before they begin contract negotiations. But George says the Titans never should have let it reach this point.

“Chris shouldn’t have had to hold out because there has been ample time to get a deal done,” George said. “To me, it’s unfortunate Chris is even having to go through this because I know he wants to be there practicing with his teammates.”

George knows well that NFL running backs have a short shelf life: George himself went into a steep decline after carrying 403 times in 2000, the year he turned 27. Johnson will turn 26 this year, and George thinks Johnson needs to get paid now, while he can.

“From Chris Johnson’s perspective, I don’t blame him for not being there,” George said. “He has to do what he has to do because he is one of the top backs in the NFL and the window for a running back is small. He has to get his deal now.”

Of course, the Titans know well that the window for a running back is small, and they would probably be perfectly content to run Johnson into the ground for the two years remaining on his current deal and then let some other team pay him after that. And that’s why Johnson isn’t particularly interested in reaching free agency. He wants to get paid now.

Permalink 54 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Rumor Mill, Sprint Football Live - Rumors, Tennessee Titans, Top Stories
54 Responses to “Eddie George tells Titans: Pay Chris Johnson”
  1. whodeytn says: Aug 10, 2011 8:44 PM

    Cue the hate in 3…2…1…

  2. welzy says: Aug 10, 2011 8:44 PM

    That should do it…. =/

  3. lildon96 says: Aug 10, 2011 8:46 PM

    Eddie George has bird lips.

  4. bearfan51 says: Aug 10, 2011 8:46 PM

    Pay the man!

  5. beastofeden says: Aug 10, 2011 8:48 PM

    Eddie G’s career went down hill after this hit

  6. alonestartexan says: Aug 10, 2011 8:49 PM

    Hey Eddie, you were a great RB but hey, Mind your own business !

  7. wizahdry says: Aug 10, 2011 8:49 PM

    Cadillac Williams is a perfect example. A rb looses value with every snap and hit. Cadillac never got that big money deal despite having the talent and ability. Two major knee issues and bam he is a 3rd down back who never got that new really big deal beyond his rookie deal. He was a first round pick Johnson wasn’t. This is his only chance to get that big money deal because he only has 2-3 years left.

  8. nineroutsider says: Aug 10, 2011 8:50 PM

    “…they would probably be perfectly content to run Johnson into the ground for the two years remaining on his current deal and then let some other team pay him after that.”

    Yet they did the exact opposite with a 35 year old QB. Smart Thinking.

  9. lacharger2112 says: Aug 10, 2011 8:51 PM

    What, is this Cincy? Pay the man, he has earned it.
    If he misses any regular season games due to his holdout. He will be injured within three games (Hamstring most likely) and he won’t be worth his new contract this year.
    Take care of it now.

  10. richm2256 says: Aug 10, 2011 8:55 PM

    “Does he deserve a new contract? Absolutely he does. He has outperformed his other one”
    ——————————————————-

    Does anyone get their contracts redone because they “underperformed” the other one – you know, the one they freely signed?

  11. brasho says: Aug 10, 2011 8:55 PM

    Everybody that wants Johnson to get paid because they want to see him get that big contract while he still can… are basically saying, “You should give him a huge contract so when he goes into a steep decline in 2 years, he’ll be getting vastly overpaid.”

    The Titans are being smart, why overpay a RB and lock him up with a longterm deal when he likely doesn’t have that many carries left?

    Considering the one element of CJ’s game that makes him special is usually the first thing that goes on a RB (speed), his game doesn’t seem to be one that will be conducive to a long career.

  12. bsizemore68 says: Aug 10, 2011 9:00 PM

    When the players sign a contract that will take a pay cut if they don’t produce, then I will be on there side, if he was a failure he would not want to take a pay cut, out here where most of us lived, you get fired for not performing. Bill

  13. richm2256 says: Aug 10, 2011 9:03 PM

    beastofeden says:
    Aug 10, 2011 8:48 PM
    Eddie G’s career went down hill after this hit

    ——————————————————

    You mean the one he got right back up after ….. THAT hit?

  14. bryant824 says: Aug 10, 2011 9:05 PM

    They pay Hasselback all that guarantee money but not their player, especially a running back like Johnson.

  15. raiderapologist says: Aug 10, 2011 9:06 PM

    Eddie finished the interview by saying, “I used to BE somebody!”

  16. aaronp2098 says: Aug 10, 2011 9:07 PM

    wizahdry says: Aug 10, 2011 8:49 PM

    Cadillac Williams is a perfect example. A rb looses value with every snap and hit. Cadillac never got that big money deal despite having the talent and ability. Two major knee issues and bam he is a 3rd down back who never got that new really big deal beyond his rookie deal. He was a first round pick Johnson wasn’t. This is his only chance to get that big money deal because he only has 2-3 years left.

    Wow, let me help you out a little.
    1-Johnson was a 1st rd pick
    2-Cadillac did get a big contract, his rookie contract and never lived up to it.
    3-You are using Cadillac as an example in an article about Johnson? He couldn’t hold Johnson’s jock strap, they are nothing alike…

  17. jstorm6 says: Aug 10, 2011 9:09 PM

    He is a stud he makes absolutely nothing by NFL standards. Titans are cheap. I think they may have spent all their money on Hasselbeck.

  18. christopher525 says: Aug 10, 2011 9:14 PM

    wizahdry says: Aug 10, 2011 8:49 PM

    Cadillac Williams is a perfect example. A rb looses value with every snap and hit. Cadillac never got that big money deal despite having the talent and ability. Two major knee issues and bam he is a 3rd down back who never got that new really big deal beyond his rookie deal. He was a first round pick Johnson wasn’t. This is his only chance to get that big money deal because he only has 2-3 years left.

    Actually, Johnson WAS picked in round 1, pick 24, although a lot of people thought it was a reach.

  19. pappysarcasm says: Aug 10, 2011 9:14 PM

    beastofeden says:
    Aug 10, 2011 8:48 PM
    Eddie G’s career went down hill after this hit

    _____________________________

    Yeah, not too long after RayRay knifed those dudes in Atlanta!

  20. mitchem85 says: Aug 10, 2011 9:18 PM

    wizardry, first of all, Chris Johnson was a top 10 first round pick, what are you talkin about? secondly, you are using Williams as an example? and u can’t.even get that right. Smh…

  21. rev279 says: Aug 10, 2011 9:19 PM

    @richm2256

    “Does anyone get their contracts redone because they “underperformed” the other one – you know, the one they freely signed?”

    ————————————–

    Yes, it’s called being cut.

  22. firstroyal says: Aug 10, 2011 9:19 PM

    Does anyone get their contracts redone because they “underperformed” the other one – you know, the one they freely signed?

    _____________________________
    yes probably at least a half dozen a year, two recently are vernon carey and brian dawkins
    it happens all the time.

  23. dafool99 says: Aug 10, 2011 9:20 PM

    Everybody should get equal contracts that pays extras when you reach certain incentives based on positions.

    example:

    Peyton and Brady get 500,000 per year based on having 5 years vested in the league. Rookies and all others below the 5 year threshold gets 250,000.

    If you throw for 3,000, u get a 3 mil bump, throw for 4,000 get another 3 bump. 20 td passes 1 mil bump, 30 td passes another 2 plus all the other incentives he met.

    If Peyton is ass for the last 3 years of his deal, you don’t have to worry about keeping his ass while he eats up your cap!

  24. nepatriots128154 says: Aug 10, 2011 9:28 PM

    Isn’t Johnson slated to make like 800,000 this year? He is worth much more than that, the Titans should pay up because he has deserved it.

  25. bleedblue18 says: Aug 10, 2011 9:30 PM

    I heard ESPN reporter John Clayton talking about this, he said last season Johnson made $2 million and this season he is only slated to make $1.2 million. Clayton said to Johnson it is like taking a pay cut this season and there was no way Johnson was going to let that happen. Johnson is one of he best backs in the NFL and in the prime of his career, he deserves to be paid like one, or at least as much as he made last season. Clayton expected a long hold out unless the Titans decide to pay him.

  26. pthompson1187 says: Aug 10, 2011 9:39 PM

    sounds like eddie george is reliving his own problems with getting a new better contract. poor poor eddie. you were damn good. let chris johnson handle his own business.

  27. crubenst says: Aug 10, 2011 9:40 PM

    He has the same problem as DeSean Jackson. With 2 years left on his contract he wants to be paid like the top rb in the game. You only get that kind of contract as a free agent! If you want an early extension you have to be willing to take something less. Something reasonable which he won’t.

  28. stoutfiles says: Aug 10, 2011 9:44 PM

    Why again should they pay him? They can’t make the playoffs with him, at least without him they’d get better draft picks.

    George himself admits the window of opportunity is closing for Johnson. Why would the Titans want to sign Johnson to a huge Haynesworth-esque contract only to have him get hurt or underproduce?

    They got some great years out of Johnson for cheap, which was wonderful. If he shows up, awesome, have him continue to play for cheap. If he doesn’t, oh well, he can sit out and rest those legs for when he wants to play for cheap. He signs the contract, now he has to honor it.

  29. marthisdil says: Aug 10, 2011 9:44 PM

    Well – I say if players want to renegotiate their contracts when they outperform them, they should also be open to the teams cutting their pay when they suck balls (like what happens with a lot of players).

    When the NFLPA gets both those in writing, then I’m game. Til then, players should play based on the contracts they have, otherwise, f em

  30. mod976 says: Aug 10, 2011 9:52 PM

    And there there is the fact that his stats dropped quite a bit last year from 2009. That and that freaking twitching he does when he is being interviewed. New contract yes. Hugh contract…too much unknown.

  31. FinFan68 says: Aug 10, 2011 9:54 PM

    How, exactly, did he “outperform” his contract? What specific parameters were exceeded?

    CJ is a good player who has had a few good seasons. He also is a player that has a higher probability of getting hurt/having a huge production dropoff.

    He wants guaranteed money and a “history” deal. That is not feasible. I doubt he would accept a “fair” deal with incentives. It is only about money and status for him and many of the players of today.

  32. mod976 says: Aug 10, 2011 9:54 PM

    too much unknown for a HUGE contract too..

  33. mnpacker says: Aug 10, 2011 9:56 PM

    If they don’t live up to a contract, they have 2 choices, 1) redo contract 2) get fired
    If they do better than their contract management will demonize them for wanting to get paid

  34. thefiesty1 says: Aug 10, 2011 9:59 PM

    Bud Adams is just about as tight fisted as Mike Brown. It’s like getting blood out of a rock.

  35. welzy says: Aug 10, 2011 10:03 PM

    Johnson should definitely make a lot more money than he currently is, but I take issue is with Eddie. These EX-players need to STFU. As players get older, if the team pays the big money in upgrading a contract that already exists, the risk is much higher for the teams. If the players “get paid now” and actually do get hurt, teams are paying millions for absolutely nothing in return. The players will still get their guaranteed money, while the teams don’t get the same guarantee that the players can play. How is this financially responsible for teams? When the players agree to take a pay cut if they can’t play, I will rethink this issue.

  36. rcunningham says: Aug 10, 2011 10:11 PM

    I hate on these stories when people say “HE SHOULD MIND HIS OWN BUSINESS. WHO WANTS TO HEAR HIS OPINION!? HURRRRR”

    Last I checked this is a free country and people can say what they want.

  37. flavordave says: Aug 10, 2011 10:33 PM

    richman2256 says:
    Does anyone get their contracts redone because they “underperformed” the other one – you know, the one they freely signed?

    ———————————-

    No. They get asked to restructer their deal or get cut. See the relevance in the need to get paid for outperforming?

  38. pappysarcasm says: Aug 10, 2011 10:33 PM

    Bud Adams is just about as tight fisted as Mike Brown. It’s like getting blood out of a rock.

    ____________________________________

    and how exactly did they get rich again?

    This whole outplayed, underplayed thing is way too subjective. The league and the NFLPJoke just had an opportunity to solve this and failed. They could have put a seniority, position and incentive based year by year salary scale in place for veterans, but they chose not to. Thats too bad. Just think, CJ signed a 1st round deal under the old rookie scale. He could have forced a four year deal but chose not to. What happens to the CJ who turns up as a late first rounder this year, signed a 4 year deal under the new rookie scale, and then breaks out as a superstar in his first two years?! It will be an even bigger replay of this same old song and dance!

    I agree with the owners; you signed a contract! If you dont want to play, then go away, STFU and dont get paid a dime! Your choice! The Titans are doing the right thing!

  39. kmurph1226 says: Aug 10, 2011 10:36 PM

    This is their master plan to suck for Luck. They’ll blame it on the Chris Johnson lockout

  40. fillyfan9988 says: Aug 10, 2011 10:52 PM

    Pay the man.The U.S. Treasury needs the tax money.

  41. z0inks says: Aug 10, 2011 10:57 PM

    Why does everyone assume Johnson has only 2-3 good years left?

    To this point in his career, Johnson’s production has been as good or better than the best RB’s to ever play the game. The numbers from his first three years rank right up there alongside guys like Eric Dickerson, Barry Sanders, Ladanian Tomlinson, Marshall Faulk, Walter Payton, Emmitt Smith, etc…..all of whom had very long, productive careers.

    CJ has yet to miss a game due to injury. The only time he’s been knocked out of a game was the ’08 playoff game against Baltimore, when Ed Reed grabbed him in a pileup and bent his leg around backward.

    Johnson isn’t a power runner who takes a physical beating week in and week out; he runs past people, not over them. And with his running style, defenders rarely manage to hit him squarely or deliver a bone-crushing tackle.

    Could his career be shortened by injury? Sure…it could happen to anyone. But over the past three years, Johnson has been among the most durable players in the NFL, regardless of position.

    If a team is willing to make a long-term investment in top-rate talent, Chris Johnson is as safe a bet as there is in the NFL.

  42. deadeye says: Aug 10, 2011 11:02 PM

    They need to listen to Eddie George. Historically former players, especially great ones, have successfully dictated the proper course of action for every single franchise.

  43. dirtdawg55 says: Aug 10, 2011 11:05 PM

    This isn’t about being cheap. It’s just the smart thing to do. CJ is a perennial whined who will never be satisfied no matter what contract he signs. He is also within 3 to 5 years of the end of his career in a position that has quickly become one of the easier ones to fill.

    Heck, of the last eleven SB winners, 5 had their lead RB rush for under 800 yards. During that time there were “dominant” backs on SB teams although one could argue Corey Dillon had a stand-out year for the Pats and Jamal Lewis certainly was stout during the Ravens SB run. Point is, you don’t need a dominant RB to even win in this league.

    Add it all up and you have to wonder why you would even want your team to throw good money at this guy. Of course, I don’t blame CJ for trying. The lack of guaranteed contracts (people who note there should be a contractual mechanism to penalize players who “under perform” don’t understand the non-guaranteed nature of NFL contracts) and the short playing career are a bad combination for someone like CJ. Having said that, it isn’t as if he is going to starve to death. He made more than enough money with the first contract.

  44. deadeye says: Aug 10, 2011 11:08 PM

    “He was a first round pick Johnson wasn’t”

    =================================

    Johnson was a first round pick, 24th overall in 2008. He just wasn’t selected as high as Cadillac who went 6th overall if memory serves.

  45. rev279 says: Aug 10, 2011 11:33 PM

    @pappysarcasm

    “I agree with the owners; you signed a contract! If you dont want to play, then go away, STFU and dont get paid a dime! Your choice!”

    —————————————

    So, it’s o.k. for the Owners to not hold to their end of the contract they signed as well, by asking a player to restructure and/or cutting players. But if a player asks to restructure and/or be released it’s not o.k.?

  46. realdraftgm says: Aug 10, 2011 11:41 PM

    come on this guy had like 2000 yards; last year he had less because Fisher tried to make him have less by not giving him the ball because he did not want to try to have to pay the guy. But now Fisher is gone and still not paying the man tells you Bud Adams and Fisher both have issues. Plenty of people get cut for underperforming which is in effect breaking a contract; the other side of that like T.O pointed out a couple years ago is if you exceed your contract then you should be ableo to redo it and get value for your production. It goes both ways and like Osi Uminyoura says gm’s cut guys for underperforming all the time and that is not looked at as bad but if a player ants to hold out or demand more money thatn suddenly he is a bad guy. Whether you agree with who deserves or does not deserve more money is your choice but it does not make someone a bad person to hold out for what they are due. These players careers could be ended on one play look at Bo Jackson as an example. Also why would you not want Chris Johnson on your team just like Michael Vick he sells tickets and Johnson has also not been a bad citizen either. Saying all that the Titans should sign him for a five year contract fifteen million signing bonus; and eleven million a year. Sure that is 26 million this year but it also gives good salary cap flexability in the future with that money already paid. Guarantee those first two years at 11 million a year which will equal out to 37 million in guarantees which is fair considering his value as a between the tackles runner as well as a home run threat on every play. Adrian Peterson’s running backs coach was coaching him on a special on t.v. for everyone to see and told him to watch how Chris Johnson ran as an example of how to be patient and wait for the holes then react to them. That right there tells the half story; the other half is he has outplayed his contract. You just signed your franchise quarterback in Locker and you are gonna take away his safety net; some of these owners are to old for their own good and need to let the decision makers make decisions or if it is them and not the owner then the owner needs to step in the middle and pay the man. So anyways 15 million signing bonus first two years at 11 milllion guaranteed ; then the third year for ten million guaranteed on the first day of the league year and a team option for a fifth year at nine million. Thats it protect Locker, put fans in the seats, give the man a fair deal because he is the most explosive player in the league, oh yeah did I meantion put fans in the seats so you will actually make more money then you spend because Bud you have to understand you have to spend that salary cap money either way you look at it so why not put out the best team possible and Bud if Your were Chris Johnson you would hold out too so put yourself in his shoes and quit being Scrooge.

  47. thetooloftools says: Aug 10, 2011 11:45 PM

    It’s complex. I need time to think.

  48. spacincasen says: Aug 10, 2011 11:53 PM

    Most starting running backs in the league seem more-or-less interchangeable. This guy, however, is on another level than most backs.

    The man deserves a raise.

  49. corysowa says: Aug 11, 2011 1:01 AM

    “Does anyone get their contracts redone because they “underperformed” the other one – you know, the one they freely signed?”

    Yeah, it’s called getting cut. Do people really not realize the owners are just as bad if not worse about “honoring contracts”?

  50. crise40g says: Aug 11, 2011 5:30 AM

    How much is he getting paid to play a game?

    Hard to feel sorry for this guy.

  51. stoopwitzer says: Aug 11, 2011 8:21 AM

    Gotta love the argument “I am with the owners, you signed the contract.”

    Never mind that the vast majority of contracts are not guaranteed. It’s fine to cut the player if they do not live up to perceived value but if they out perform… “tuff sh@t!” please…

  52. tundey says: Aug 11, 2011 8:36 AM

    I agree with Eddie George. Pay the man! Fans saying “you signed a contract” obviously have no clue how the NFL works. Contracts in the NFL rarely gets played out. They either get redone everyday (mutual consent); players get cut (team’s decision) or players hold out (player’s decision). I can’t even remember the last time a player and team played out a contract (apart from those 1-year rentals).

  53. cshearing says: Aug 11, 2011 8:49 AM

    How do people follow football and not even understand unguaranteed contracts? Boggles my mind, and makes the stereotype of idiot football fans look true.

  54. dolphindad says: Aug 11, 2011 9:12 AM

    crise40g says:Aug 11, 2011 5:30 AM

    How much is he getting paid to play a game?

    Hard to feel sorry for this guy.

    How much do the owners make for watching players play the game? Hard to feel sorry for them.

    Its all relative. Take you for example. Hypothetically, lets say you are a janitor and you take a job cleaning toilets for $8/hour. then you find out all other janitors who clean toilets (and who don’t do it as well as you) make $16 an hour. how would you feel about that?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!