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Chris Johnson: “No way” I’m taking a pay cut

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The Titans have plenty of decisions to make this offseason, including one about running back Chris Johnson’s future with the team.

Reports earlier this month indicated that the Titans have decided to move on without Johnson, who is set to make $8 million next season, although they were quickly shot down as premature by CEO Tommy Smith. The discussion will be coming after a year that has seen Johnson rush for 3.8 yards per carry, leaving him in need of 50 yards in Week 17 for a sixth-straight 1,000-yard season.

Johnson, who has never been shy about finding external reasons for his struggles, said that he thinks that his results this season have been a “team effort.” As a result, there’s “no way” he’d consider a pay cut for next season although he would consider restructuring his deal without giving money back. If the Titans were insistent, then Johnson says he’s confident he’ll find another job without much trouble.

“I don’t think I’ll be out of work long,” Johnson said, via the Tennessean. “There’s nothing I can do about it. At the end of the day I’ve had a great time here and I appreciate all they have done for me. … I think it would be sad on both parts, but being in this league for so long I understand there is a business side of it.”

Even if he’s not wrong about the struggles of the running game being a team effort, Johnson also hasn’t spent the last few years showing he’s a back worth paying $8 million a season. That may complicate his return to Tennessee next season if he insists on sticking with that salary.

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40 Responses to “Chris Johnson: “No way” I’m taking a pay cut”
  1. heeeeelzfan says: Dec 26, 2013 4:47 PM

    Get as much as you can, pal. The concussion agreement already has been signed and sealed.

  2. texansfan13 says: Dec 26, 2013 4:48 PM

    He will be lucky if he even has a job anywhere next year.

  3. dcstinks says: Dec 26, 2013 4:49 PM

    1000 yeard rushers come a dime a dozen.. C ya CJ.

  4. logicalvoicesays says: Dec 26, 2013 4:49 PM

    Top 5 RBs in Professional Football – Alfred Morris, Matt Forte, CJ Spiller, Giovanni Bernard and Mo Jones Drew. In that order.

  5. fdugrad says: Dec 26, 2013 4:52 PM

    That makes what, two players on the team who say pay cuts are not in their futures correct? There must be some virus floating around the locker room that somehow convinces certain players that they have BASEBALL contracts, which are iron clad for the length of the agreement. Their agents should probably enlighten them that they play FOOTBALL in the NFL, where EVERY participant serves at the pleasure AND the price of the respective team’s front office.

  6. tennsaint says: Dec 26, 2013 4:52 PM

    Shhhh, shhhhh. Chris, do you hear that? It’s the wall running backs hit once they turn 30.

  7. vegaskid21 says: Dec 26, 2013 4:53 PM

    No way is this has been worth 8 million a year. Maybe 3 mil, maybe! 1000 yards is not that impressive nowadays. That’s only like 67 yards per game. Now what AP did last year is freaking impressive.

  8. howiefeltersnatch says: Dec 26, 2013 4:53 PM

    In my best Bill Cosby: Then you’ll get nothingggg!!

  9. justwinsomeday says: Dec 26, 2013 4:54 PM

    This clown is delusional, there’s no way he makes $8 million next year.

  10. ancientcougar says: Dec 26, 2013 4:55 PM

    Take the pay cut. With the new agreements in place, you may turn into a “fan” instead of a “player” next year.

  11. coachkilla6 says: Dec 26, 2013 4:57 PM

    Are we sure CJ said this? I’ve never been able to understand a single word this mush mouth has uttered.

  12. thestrategyexpert says: Dec 26, 2013 4:58 PM

    He shouldn’t budge. If the team asks him to take a pay cut then he should just leave and get the best deal he can from some other team. This team wasn’t forced to give him that contract, so pay up and make good on the deal or let somebody else play with him. He’s a real chump if he gives them any kind of discount. Take their money or get a new team. The money is the team’s problem, no reason for it to be his concern.

  13. kaeprulestheworld says: Dec 26, 2013 4:58 PM

    Titans GM:
    Chris your production has declined you have to take a “pay cut”.

    Chris Johnson:
    Pay cut, YOU MUST BE CRAZY. (In the Stephen A. Smith voice)

  14. norseyapper says: Dec 26, 2013 5:01 PM

    You will be taking a very significant pay cut next year CJ, the only question is who will be willing to pay you and for how long.
    Seriously, would you take Chris Johnson at 3 million per year or take your chances with a 3rd round draft pick at a fraction of that price? 8 Million, in your dreams.

  15. thegenoatkinsdiet says: Dec 26, 2013 5:04 PM

    No contender is going to pay that kind of money for a RB. You can take less and maybe play for a ring, or you can go to a desperate team and play for the money. What is more important to you?

  16. John A. says: Dec 26, 2013 5:05 PM

    I don’t blame NFL players for trying to get every damn dime they can while they still have a career. Owners get rich off them destroying their bodies and their careers are so, so short to begin with.

    Having said that, Johnson is a dope to have said what he said. It is **very** possible the best deal he’ll get going forward is a restructured deal from the Titans that pays him less than the $8m he could (but won’t) make from them with his current contract.

    If that’s the case, then why paint yourself into a corner, where you say you won’t do that? Why let your mouth cost you money?

    Why not answer any questions about his future pay with a simple, ‘We’ll let the process play out and see what my agent advises me to do then’? There is nothing dumb about playing your cards close to the vest and saying nothing publicly about what you want or should do.

  17. mvp43 says: Dec 26, 2013 5:06 PM

    The game has changed. Running backs are a dime a dozen and teams don’t build around them anymore. This is a QB driven league now , whick makes shutdown corners more valuable. Not to mention Chris that you’re a douche and a horrible negotiator.

  18. 6thsense10 says: Dec 26, 2013 5:09 PM

    CJ will need a good agent to gauge whatever restructure the Titans offer and what he can get in the free market. The Steelers Harrison misjudged the market and ended up signing with the Bengals for significantly less. This is just the system the NFL uses for good or bad non guaranteed contracts will always mean sit outs or contract re negotiations.

  19. dietrich43 says: Dec 26, 2013 5:16 PM

    See James Harrison. He will not get half of what the Titans will offer him.

  20. keepingitrealdumb says: Dec 26, 2013 5:17 PM

    good on you CJ .. get all the money you can while you can. i know i wish i could force my boss’s hand and get more money for the work that i do.

    try to get as much money as you can .. if it is fair and equitable, the only will pay it .. if it is not .. the owner will not .. simple as that.

  21. jjg8505 says: Dec 26, 2013 5:29 PM

    Top 5 best nfl backs are 1.Adrian Peterson 2. Jamal Charles 3. Lesean McCoy 4. Alfred Morris 5.marshawn lynch I have no idea how u rank mjd or Bernard ahead of any of them guys, lacy or Leveon bell would be before either of them. Cj your barely in my top 20 with all the talent out there at rb right now

  22. keepingitrealdumb says: Dec 26, 2013 5:32 PM

    everyone on here acting like they are the boss instead of the worker.

    isn’t that interesting .. i bet 99.9% of you are workers yet you all seem to be taking the point of view of the employer .. bunch of wannabees. know your role .. know who you are. solidarity with the workers .. solidarity with CJ!!

  23. duece5 says: Dec 26, 2013 5:38 PM

    The worst RB in the league after contact…..falls like a tree.

    Dude has stolen from the Titans for years.

    To think for one magical year where his oline made holes for him the size of a bus, and he got paid.

    The Titans caved, and should have never signed him to the big cash.

    Only guy worth it was Peterson. But, all AD will do when all is said and done is hold the all time rushing record!

  24. sportsfan18 says: Dec 26, 2013 5:52 PM

    He got paid due to his ONE outstanding season of over 2,000 yards, which was a great season by him.

    However, when one takes out that season from his career stats, his yard per carry average is 4.3 yards per rush.

    Not bad, but nowhere near enough to justify receiving $8 million.

    Yes, I know that his stats can’t be taken out as they happened, but the fact is that every other season than that one, he hasn’t been the same.

    I mean in all of the seasons except for his 2,000 yard year, he has only averaged 4.3 (again good, but not worth what he’s been paid. He got a lot of money for many years AFTER that season WITHOUT producing like that season again).

    Yes, he’s gone over 1,000 yards so far each season but that was due to the number of carries.

    Just Google NFL career yards per rush and you’ll find running backs like the following who rush for 4.4 yards per carry or more for their career so far (Chris’ career average is 4.6, but it’s 4.3 for all of his seasons so far without including his 2,000 yard season):

    Reggie Bush
    Donald Brown
    Steve Ridley
    Brandon Jacobs
    LeGarrette Blount
    Leon Washington
    Felix Jones
    Ahmad Bradshaw

    And others.

    Good backs all, but do you want to pay them $8 million per year? Of course not but Chris Johnson is getting paid that for less production per carry than these guys.

    Again, I know his 2,000 yard season can’t be taken out of his career stats, but those yards in that season don’t help him rush for any yards last year, this year and they won’t help him rush for yards next year.

    He thinks he’s worth a lot more than he really is. He got lucky and the Titans blinked when he held out years ago and he got paid.

    He won a lottery in essence.

  25. craigkintexas says: Dec 26, 2013 5:58 PM

    See ya Chris. No way any team is desperate enough to pay any running back $8 million.

  26. jerrahsucks says: Dec 26, 2013 6:21 PM

    Amazing how after all the bitching, holding out and crap he pulled, he got his big money deal, and……..turned to crap.

  27. titans4evr says: Dec 26, 2013 6:25 PM

    He took the money and didn’t run.

    Steve Miller would be disappointed.

  28. ravenswhat says: Dec 26, 2013 6:34 PM

    I mean with that attitude and leadership ability, I for one will be shocked when teams aren’t tripping over each other to sign this awesome guy!

  29. bravovictor52 says: Dec 26, 2013 6:37 PM

    He’s a chump, not a game changer. 4 yards per carry except for the occasional long run. Let’s draft or trade and get someone with a little more heart.

  30. ajgreenhof says: Dec 26, 2013 9:04 PM

    How can we even be positive it’s what he said? I can’t even understand the guy.

  31. bigbosscrispy says: Dec 27, 2013 12:53 AM

    CJ is a beast – pay that man!!

  32. asublimeday says: Dec 27, 2013 1:13 AM

    Look at the guy; you really think he’s not in it for the money?

  33. hitking60 says: Dec 27, 2013 1:27 AM

    CJ has a point to an extent. He’s a homerun hitter. And a season like the one he’s having is what happens when he doesn’t hit any homeruns. He stats were quite a big better last year because he had three 80yd+ runs. Problem for him this season is that his homeruns have been on pass plays. He had the 49yd’r against the Chiefs. And he had the 66yd’r against the 49ers. And those we mere dumboffs at the line of scrimmage that he took the distance. I think he also had like another 25yd TD reception. You add those plays to his rushing total and he hasn’t been that bad.

    All in all, I think its time to part ways with CJ, as well as several others on the team. This core group isn’t gonna win anything. The only reason I would think they should bring him back is if they’re gonna give Much and this core group one more year to try and turn this around. And personally, I don’t see how THIS team is better without CJ.

    I think CJ will be scooped up. Probably not for 8m. But he’ll gett decent money somewhere. His selling point will be that every time he got in the open field this year, he took it to the house. He had the long receptions I mentioned earlier. And in the preseason, he had a long one against the Skins. So he can easily say he hasn’t lost much, and it was the line, scheme, or whatever else is the the reason he didn’t produce more. And someone will likely go for it.

  34. notsogosu says: Dec 27, 2013 6:31 AM

    His struggles are a “team issue”… But his 2000 yrd year was his doing and not a team issue. SMH.

  35. harrisonhits2 says: Dec 27, 2013 8:19 AM

    Would vomit if the Pats ever signed this delusional turd. Luckily they stay away from me first who cares if the team loses people like this guy

  36. Josh Cochran says: Dec 27, 2013 10:14 AM

    The question for CJ isn’t whether or not he’s going to make less money next year, it’s *where* he’s going to make less money. As a Titans fan, I hope it’s somewhere far away. His mouth has done an awful lot of talking, but it’s his performance that speaks. And it hasn’t said much for him in years.

  37. grruffgrruff says: Dec 27, 2013 10:47 AM

    In my world, $8 mil or $3 mil?
    What’s the difference?
    I could live the rest of my life with either…

  38. dodohead418 says: Dec 27, 2013 7:05 PM

    Do people still think he didn’t turn lazy once he got the big pay day?

  39. paychrisjohnson28 says: Dec 30, 2013 9:10 AM

    Keep CJ with a restructured contract…
    Look at Runningbacks across the league and the numbers they are having running the ball…not too many RB’s dominating year in year out…

    —Titans Fan Dan

  40. paychrisjohnson28 says: Dec 30, 2013 9:22 AM

    Or I say the Titans should draft Ohio State’s RB Carlos Hyde and after they do, then release/cut Chris Johnson…would be the other option I would hope or could see happening…

    —Titans Fan Dan

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