As the Chris Johnson watch continues with nothing really to watch, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports raises an intriguing point on the whole visit-workout dynamic.
For street free agents (i.e., guys who were cut by other teams with ongoing contracts), visits must be reported to the league office. Tryouts, however, aren’t reported.
So it’s possible that, while Johnson has taken no visits, he could be engaging in private tryouts.
It’s possible, but it’s not happening. Per a league source, Johnson will not be engaging in private tryouts for anyone. The thinking is that he has generated six years of game film, and he’s a proven commodity. Either a team wants him, or a team doesn’t. There’s no need for Johnson to go run and cut and jump and do whatever a team may want to see him do before offering him a contract.
In fact, there’s a chance Johnson will sign a new contract without even taking a visit. He can, in theory, be interviewed by phone, without the team having to report it. Plus, after six years in the league, plenty of guys know him, either from playing with him or coaching him. It’s possible he’ll be signed without any direct communication with him.
In the wake of the Brandon Thomas ACL tear (more on that later), some agents are concerned about exposing players to private workouts. Johnson definitely won’t be doing one.