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Old money, new money dynamics are critical to C.J. deal

Tennessee Titans v Indianapolis Colts Getty Images

The four-year contract signed by Titans running back Chris Johnson is being sold as a four-year, $53.5 million contract, which translates to an impressive average annual take of $13.375 million.  But the true value of the total deal puts the average payout much lower than that.

With pre-existing base salaries of $800,000 in 2011 and $960,000 in 2012, the total money over six years becomes $55.26 million.  That’s an average of $9.21 million.

And so, focusing on the new money, Johnson got what he wanted.  By focusing on the total money, the Titans kept Johnson at the top of the running back market.  Technically, however, Johnson isn’t the highest paid running back.

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson will get $10.7 million this year, nearly $1.5 million more than Johnson’s six-year average.

(In fairness to Johnson, Peterson’s per-year average on his five-year contract was much lower than $10.7 million.  Moreover, Johnson will make $13 million in 2011.)

That said, Johnson has scored a $30 million (not $29.5 million or $29.9 million) guarantee, unprecedented for a tailback.  Making that amount even more impressive is that the Titans simply don’t shell out that kind of money.  And maybe that should be the headline for the reports regarding the basic terms of the deal:  Johnson gets $30 million guaranteed.

The four years/$53.5 million and six years/$55.26 million difference is much more than a potato-potahto distinction.  And with Johnson getting $13 million this year (and thus $42.26 million over the next five years), it makes us wonder at which point Johnson will be looking for another new contract, once someone signs a long-term deal with a legitimate eight-figure annual average.

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57 Responses to “Old money, new money dynamics are critical to C.J. deal”
  1. Mr. Wright 212 says: Sep 1, 2011 1:49 PM

    Who cares?

  2. Mr. Wright 212 says: Sep 1, 2011 1:50 PM

    The owners make 10 times more than the highest paid player does on the largest contract. That’s worthy of mentioning.

  3. jsho55 says: Sep 1, 2011 1:50 PM

    Peterson should be the highest paid RB. He is treated like a slave after all.

  4. blackgolddomination says: Sep 1, 2011 1:51 PM

    They should have added a clause, “Must gain 100 rushing yards or more on 10/9/2011 for any guaranteed money.” Titans would have been guaranteed to NOT have to pay him.

  5. ctattles says: Sep 1, 2011 1:51 PM

    Oohhhhh!!!!!!!! So close….

  6. ticalcaldwell says: Sep 1, 2011 1:51 PM

    hope he doesnt get hurt, needs to condition…

  7. cactitle says: Sep 1, 2011 1:51 PM

    Breaks my heart!

  8. jeffreyduncan says: Sep 1, 2011 1:52 PM

    Chris Johnson: “Technically, I’m rich b*tch!”

  9. impact42 says: Sep 1, 2011 1:53 PM

    Lets face it, all running backs are a single hit away from a real day job. Remember Terrell Davis for the Broncos he was the greatest back since Walter Payton and what happened to him? And then there was Shaun Alexander for the Seahawks who got huge jack, and then there was…

  10. Land Snark says: Sep 1, 2011 1:53 PM

    He won’t be renegotiating any new contracts after this one. Or at least he won’t be getting big bucks like this again.

    No way he gets a payday like this in a few years.

    The tread on the tires will be too thin by then.

  11. myspaceyourface says: Sep 1, 2011 1:53 PM

    Mr. Wright – stop with the class war fair already.

  12. wetpaperbag2 says: Sep 1, 2011 1:55 PM

    Who cares really? Is he giving me some of that cash?

  13. gtorlone says: Sep 1, 2011 1:55 PM

    Wow if Adrian Peterson feels like a slave then Chris Johnson is just roughin’ it out there. $1.5 million LESS?! Blasphemy. How will he afford that gold-plated toilet and the island in the tropic?

  14. kevinbobrow says: Sep 1, 2011 1:55 PM

    Still, he got what he was looking for in $30M guaranteed. I don’t like the way the system is set up, but when you know you are that valuable to your team and you know you need your big payday now or you may never get it, it still seems holding out is the best way to get what you want. Very frustrating for fantasy owners, but as he’s made clear, he doesn’t give a crap about fantasy owners… :)

    mydailyff.com

  15. arrogantathlete says: Sep 1, 2011 1:55 PM

    Running backs are a dime a dozen. I would have paid him 10 gold teeth, he would have been dumb enough to take it.

  16. cakemixa says: Sep 1, 2011 1:56 PM

    How

  17. foul83 says: Sep 1, 2011 1:58 PM

    When he gets up from film session to go evacuate his bowels, he makes more than me in that 10 minutes.

  18. hystoracle says: Sep 1, 2011 1:59 PM

    Isn’t it an extension? SO that means it doesn’t replace his current deal just comes into effect in 2 years. So if he gets hurt between then and now he’s SOL? Or did they give him a completely new deal with the same salary figures for the next two years (backloaded) but with guaranteed money tied in. That sounds more likely. Otherwise after two years, the Titans could say adios and never have to pay the extension.

    The jumping to be first to report these contracts make them more confusing. Take the time to get all the information and then report it so it makes sense.

    Just one “fake” fan’s opinion.

  19. vysethelegend says: Sep 1, 2011 2:00 PM

    Guess his contract is worst than AP’s.

  20. dbellina says: Sep 1, 2011 2:01 PM

    Technically, Chris Johnson isn’t the best running back in the NFL either.

    Chris Johnson is fast, very fast. But there’s a lot of guys in the NFL that are fast. AP is a different breed of running back. When’s the last time you saw CJ2K actually hit someone head on? AP has the speed to burn people, but he also has the power to run them over. When it’s all said and done, I honestly believe that AP will go down as one of the best running backs to ever play the game.

  21. stanton3679 says: Sep 1, 2011 2:01 PM

    Mr.Wright
    The owner of my company makes at least 10 times more than I do.Whats your point?

  22. rpiotr01 says: Sep 1, 2011 2:01 PM

    I smell another hold out next season.

  23. bullcharger says: Sep 1, 2011 2:02 PM

    The guy just signed a huge contract and you’re talking about when he’ll need a new one??? How about he goes out and plays well enough to deserve this one first.

    He’s played 3 years already. That’s already longer than the average starting running back. He’s just in his prime now. He might not even have 4 great years left.

  24. kolbe213 says: Sep 1, 2011 2:03 PM

    Haters hate.

    Congratulations to the only player on the Titans’ team that produces revenue for the rest to share.

    For real.

  25. ajknox88 says: Sep 1, 2011 2:03 PM

    Mr. Wright 212 says:
    Sep 1, 2011 1:50 PM
    The owners make 10 times more than the highest paid player does on the largest contract. That’s worthy of mentioning.
    __________
    ajknox88 says:
    Sep 1, 2011 2:03 PM
    Actually, they don’t in a single given year.

  26. We'reFineThere says: Sep 1, 2011 2:04 PM

    McCoy and Maclin just turned 23. Next year should be fun especially if DeSean hasn’t been paid yet.

  27. claymatthewsisonsteroids says: Sep 1, 2011 2:04 PM

    Johnson is a great back but he is nowhere near AP…

  28. flagstaffphotos says: Sep 1, 2011 2:05 PM

    Jets would take him in a heartbeat.

  29. pabillsfan says: Sep 1, 2011 2:08 PM

    AP > CJ

  30. achap39 says: Sep 1, 2011 2:09 PM

    Not winning with or without him. All he’s doing is killing the Titans’ cap figure for the next 6 years.

  31. tantrum4 says: Sep 1, 2011 2:11 PM

    Wait, so this was an extension and not a new contract? He’s still only going to make $800,000 this year? Doesn’t sound correct to me.

  32. stoopwitzer says: Sep 1, 2011 2:13 PM

    his new grill is going to be epic!

  33. hatesycophants says: Sep 1, 2011 2:16 PM

    May I just ask why you continue to post crap like this? The overwhelming majority of fans do not care about the minutia of contracts. I know the corporate media no longer gives a damn what the consumer wants, but give it a rest.

    Go Lions! Go Badgers!

  34. firstand4ever says: Sep 1, 2011 2:21 PM

    All star RB’s have to cash in early. It’s the easiest position to transition from college to the pros but it’s also the shortest living. You got about a 6 to 7 year window at best to produce at a high level. A star QB can last into his late 30′s. A RB is lucky to even last when he hits 30.

    It’s very rare that a star RB gets two big contracts as a pro. Chris Johnson got his market value in his prime. It’s something he had to do. He may not see another big contract. That’s the reality of his situation.

    No matter what you think of Johnson. The Titans had to pay him and based on his production. He deserved it.

  35. babyjesus69 says: Sep 1, 2011 2:21 PM

    so that moves him up to where in the first round of fantasy drafts?

  36. brownsfn says: Sep 1, 2011 2:33 PM

    He isn’t worth it…

  37. qdog112 says: Sep 1, 2011 2:35 PM

    Not bad for a guy who most of you thinks is stupid. Now he’s stupid rich and you … well, you’re on here talking about his money. Now that makes you smart – right?

  38. greymares says: Sep 1, 2011 2:36 PM

    he’s a running back for god’s sake, the 5 best of all time don’t deserve that much money combined.

  39. TurdSandwich says: Sep 1, 2011 2:38 PM

    ” it makes us wonder at which point Johnson will be looking for another new contract, once someone signs a long-term deal with a legitimate eight-figure annual average.”

    Considering he has maybe two or three years left as top back he won’t have the leverage..
    Be surprised if he lasts this contract in a Titans uniform..

  40. dclogicatlast says: Sep 1, 2011 2:42 PM

    achap39 says:
    Sep 1, 2011 2:09 PM
    Not winning with or without him. All he’s doing is killing the Titans’ cap figure for the next 6 years.

    Hey smarty pants, what would you suggest using his portion of the cap on?? Old lineman? $11 mil on another old, washed up QB?

    Johnson is only a top 5 playmaker in the NFL. They grow on trees!

  41. nineroutsider says: Sep 1, 2011 2:43 PM

    hatesycophants says: Sep 1, 2011 2:16 PM

    May I just ask why you continue to post crap like this? The overwhelming majority of fans do not care about the minutia of contracts. I know the corporate media no longer gives a damn what the consumer wants, but give it a rest.

    Go Lions! Go Badgers!
    ———————————————————
    Not to be a sycophant, but well said…with the exception of the teams of course.

    PFT did’t post a similar comment I made yesterday about Twitter related posts…what a joke. Some serious censorship is going on behind the scenes when ‘PFT planet’ can’t criticize articles in a professional manner…that wasn’t the case too long ago…NBC influence I take it??

  42. dclogicatlast says: Sep 1, 2011 2:43 PM

    Mr.Wright
    The owner of my company makes at least 10 times more than I do.Whats your point?

    And you’re not on TV every Sunday like Chris Johnson. I smell a difference in skill sets between you and Chris Johnson. Maybe it’s just me.

  43. dragonfly99 says: Sep 1, 2011 2:47 PM

    So how does that affect the Titan’s salary cap?? If he getting 13 million this year, does that amount count against the salary cap this year or next year?? Or are these salary cap rules just a joke?

  44. citizenstrange says: Sep 1, 2011 2:51 PM

    That’s still a big pay out just to miss the playoffs again.

  45. babyjebus says: Sep 1, 2011 2:52 PM

    hystoracle says: Sep 1, 2011 1:59 PM

    Isn’t it an extension? SO that means it doesn’t replace his current deal just comes into effect in 2 years. So if he gets hurt between then and now he’s SOL? Or did they give him a completely new deal with the same salary figures for the next two years (backloaded) but with guaranteed money tied in. That sounds more likely. Otherwise after two years, the Titans could say adios and never have to pay the extension.

    The jumping to be first to report these contracts make them more confusing. Take the time to get all the information and then report it so it makes sense.

    Just one “fake” fan’s opinion.
    ___________________________
    tantrum4 says: Sep 1, 2011 2:11 PM

    Wait, so this was an extension and not a new contract? He’s still only going to make $800,000 this year? Doesn’t sound correct to me.
    ____________________________

    The article says:
    “(In fairness to Johnson, Peterson’s per-year average on his five-year contract was much lower than $10.7 million. Moreover, Johnson will make $13 million in 2011.)”

  46. fx1718 says: Sep 1, 2011 2:53 PM

    I’m sure he’ll be holding out again in 2-3 years.

  47. Stupid Raiders Fan says: Sep 1, 2011 3:01 PM

    What about Young Money?

  48. 4512dawg4512 says: Sep 1, 2011 3:06 PM

    Good, now the Titans are stuck with him. They never should have opened their wallet for that undersized loudmouth

  49. nickster2k says: Sep 1, 2011 3:08 PM

    ==============================
    foul83 says:
    Sep 1, 2011 1:58 PM
    When he gets up from film session to go evacuate his bowels, he makes more than me in that 10 minutes.
    ==============================

    Not me. The day after some home-cooked chilli and a few cold ones— I guarantee I’ll make more than him in that 10 minutes.

  50. depotnator says: Sep 1, 2011 3:12 PM

    Not a smart deal for the Titans. Allowing one player to hold a franchise ransom is a bad precedent. The Titans are not one player away from going anywhere. They should have let him sit out the season. The clock is ticking on when he heads to the bench for a ‘cramp’ because now there is no motivation to play hurt.

  51. purplekoolaid1 says: Sep 1, 2011 3:26 PM

    It’s sad how out of control football media coverage is becoming. It’s at the point where almost every contract is analyzed to death like it really matters. Who really cares?

    I love the articles that make a big deal about a contract not really being worth as much as reported. “The contract is not really $100 million, it’s actually $85 million with $40 million guaranteed.” Who cares? It’s a lot of money, we get it. These players aren’t paying my bills so I couldn’t care less.

    And also the long drawn our speculation as who is going to be the #2 or #3 QB on the depth chart of teams. Once again, who cares? I love the old Mike Ditka line from one of his rants which went a little something like this….”We have 3 quarterbacks on this team, whoever starts, starts, whoever backs him up with back him up. Period, cut and dried. It’s nobody’s business but ours. Nobody’s!”

  52. granadafan says: Sep 1, 2011 3:55 PM

    His posse and all the other hangers are going to be happy.

  53. mkrip says: Sep 1, 2011 4:18 PM

    The Titans are stupid just wasting that money. He isn’t going to win anything for them. Building a team is what they need.

    They could other people 75% as good for 10% of the money and have alot of money left over to beef up several positions on their roster.

  54. monetdali says: Sep 1, 2011 5:11 PM

    Thats like feeling sorry for Donald Trump when he went bankrupt.

  55. bayoubauer says: Sep 1, 2011 5:40 PM

    with all that money, he can open up his new chain of restaurants: CJ’s Bar and Grillz

  56. jacunn2000 says: Sep 1, 2011 5:46 PM

    Adrian Peterson is $1.5 million better.

  57. onegamedoesnotaseasonmake says: Sep 1, 2011 8:07 PM

    where’s the outrage from Wilbon?

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