Yes, Chris Johnson will be at the Titans’ facility on Friday. Yes, he’ll take a physical.
Given that he had offseason knee surgery, there’s a chance he’ll fail the physical. And then the Titans would release him with the “failed physical” designation.
That ultimately won’t matter, since the minor knee procedure he had earlier this year was more of the clean-up variety. The 2011 CBA, however, gives all players protection against an injury that resulted in a release the following season under the “failed physical” designation. Under Article 45, Johnson will be eligible for $1.05 million from the Titans, if he can’t find work with another team.
For the Titans, it’s a simple analysis. Keep him and potentially owe $8 million, or cut him and potentially owe $1.05 million. With Johnson widely expected to land with a new team, the Titans most likely will be off the hook after cutting him.
As the inevitable release of Johnson approaches, it’s becoming more clear that, even though Johnson will find a new team, his compensation likely will be closer to the current veteran running back market than the short list of proven game-changing running backs. At a time when lesser players have gotten $3.5 million per year, it could be a challenge for Johnson to get much more than that.