Chris Johnson ran this week for the first time since knee surgery, and he plans on being ready to begin offseason workouts when they begin.
Whether that’s with the Titans or another team remains to be seen.
But Johnson told Jim Wyatt of the Tennesseean that he plans to be in Nashville on April 7 when the Titans begin their conditioning program, though the team hasn’t declared their intentions.
“Yeah, I plan on being there,” Johnson said. “If I haven’t been traded or released by that time, I will show up in Nashville and be ready to go from day one with the team. There’s been a lot of speculation about the future, and where I’ll be. But I am under contract with the Tennessee Titans. That’s my team. And whatever team I am with when the offseason program starts, that is where I am showing up.
“I want to run and lift with the team and do what I can to make the team better. If April 7 gets here and I am on the Tennessee roster, then I am going to show up ready to go.”
Of course, that gives the Titans plenty of time to make a deal, and there seems to be a market, with Johnson is willing to restructure a contract that’s scheduled to pay him $8 million. The Titans won’t want him working out there, as an injury would put them on the hook for the amount. They banned former quarterback Steve McNair from the program under similar circumstances in 2006 before dealing him to the Ravens.
Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt was noncommittal about Johnson when asked Tuesday.
“This whole thing is a process,” Whisenhunt said. “There’s not a timetable on doing it. We’re trying to do what’s best for the team. We’re certainly sensitive to try and resolve this whole deal sooner than later. It’s just a process that you go through. I hope the fan base understands we’re trying to do what’s best for our team. All that matters is what we do on Sundays and winning those games.”
It’s clear the Titans are thinking about moving on without him, so it makes sense for Johnson to remind everyone he plans on showing up, just to keep a little pressure on them too.