The Titans’ decision to cut running back Chris Johnson may have been at least in part a reflection of Johnson’s work ethic.
Although Johnson hasn’t had any major off-field incidents, Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean reports that Johnson was cut because the team is trying to create a different culture.
The issues involving Johnson generally involve, according to Wyatt, rubbing team officials the wrong way with a questionable work ethic and a laid-back attitude. New Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt wants the top players on his team to be the proverbial guys who are the first ones at the facility in the morning and the last to leave, and that’s not Johnson.
It’s important to point out, however, that Johnson managed a 2,006-yard season in 2009, and was given a huge new contract in 2011, despite what may have been a questionable work ethic. If Johnson were still playing the way he played a few years ago, the Titans would probably be willing to look past whatever issues there may be about his work ethic.
Ultimately, Johnson was cut because his production didn’t live up to his contract. When you’re a running back who averages 3.9 yards a carry and is due to make $8 million, your job won’t be safe no matter how hard you work.