Titans running back Chris Johnson has said he’s not willing to reduce his $8 million. But as he sits and ponders his football future, Johnson is reconsidering.
Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports reports that Johnson is starting to see the writing on the wall, and would be willing to take a pay cut if that’s what he has to do to facilitate a trade.
From Johnson’s perspective, it may be worth taking a pay cut to get the situation resolved quickly. The Titans don’t have to pay Johnson any roster bonuses this offseason, which means they could hold onto him for the next five months and wait until the end of the preseason to cut him. At that point, there wouldn’t be much time left for Johnson to find a new team before the regular season starts, and so he might be better off doing what he needs to do to get a trade done soon.
That would also be better for the Titans, because there are risks for the Titans to keeping Johnson around, too: If they hold onto Johnson and he suffers a season-ending injury during offseason work, they would be forced to pay him the full $8 million while he spends the season on injured reserve. And Johnson’s $8 million salary counts against their salary cap as long as he’s on the roster, so even if the Titans have no intention of paying that salary when the season starts, his presence on the roster affects their ability to sign free agents.
Bottom line, getting a trade done now would benefit both the Titans and Johnson. And if Johnson needs to reduce his salary to help the Titans get it done, he’s willing to do that.