The Tennessee Titans say they don’t want to talk contract with Chris Johnson until the holdout running back shows up for work. But they’re willing to talk about his contract with the media now.
And Titans G.M. Mike Reinfeldt said today that the deal the Titans are willing to make Johnson — once he shows up — is the most lucrative in NFL history for a running back.
“Even though he has two years left on his contract, we’d like him to go in,” Reinfeldt said. “He could go to meetings, get to know the new coaches, he can learn the scheme. He doesn’t have to practice, but it’s something we want to get done. Again, we’re willing to make him the highest paid running back in the history of the NFL. That’s kind of where we are.”
Johnson reportedly wants $30 million guaranteed, and the Titans may think that’s excessive, considering how short the shelf life is for NFL running backs. The Titans are, however, willing to pay him a lot.
They just want him to show up and start talking to his coaches and teammates.
“With his position, it’s important he’s here meeting people,” Reinfeldt said. “I don’t think he needs to carry the ball 30 times in the preseason to be ready for the regular season. For a running back, it’s more important he’s here to learn his teammates and learn the offense. Beyond practice time, he’s got the natural ability.”
But he doesn’t have the contract, and so he’s still holding out.