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.