No rush to sign Chris Johnson

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A week after one of the fastest men in the NFL was released, he’s in no hurry to sign with a new team.  Or, perhaps more accurately, no team is in a hurry to sign him.

As of last Friday, Johnson was expected to join a new team by the middle of this week.  The fact that he hasn’t strongly suggests that not much is going on.

It’s a bit of a surprise, given Johnson’s impressive six seasons of NFL performances.  But with the man who drafted Johnson and coached him for three seasons (Rams coach Jeff Fisher) apparently not interested and the man who coached him for the most recent three seasons (Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak) apparently not pushing his new team to defer signing LeGarrette Blount until getting a crack at Johnson, the rest of the league could be heeding the message.

Or maybe the devaluation of the tailback position continues, with Johnson being the latest visit of the trend toward the passing game and away from workhorse running backs.

Or maybe it’s a little of both.  Either way, Johnson remains available.  With the draft less than four weeks away, it possibly could stay that way until after teams with lingering needs at the position try to address those needs with incoming rookies.

Unless, of course, Johnson currently is negotiating with one or more teams who have insisted on secrecy, as some teams (including Blount’s former employer, and the team that signed Jared Allen out of the blue) have a habit of doing.

42 responses to “No rush to sign Chris Johnson

  1. It’s odd seeing a player’s stock fall so dramatically, given that his production has been consistent, other than a break-out second season.

    He’s probably good value to a rebuilding team for at least another two seasons.

  2. Could he be keeping his asking point way to high for every team so he can sit around until an injury happens and he can miss part of training camp?

    Sounds like something he’d do.

  3. “Impressive six seasons”?

    Actually, the last four, CJ’s been a buzzkill for Titans fans.

  4. No one is going to be interested in him until his price comes way down. Why even bother right now when you know he’s not going to accept what you’re willing to offer?

  5. OR it could be he’s an overrated prima donna that had one amazing season out of six. I’m sick of hearing he’s a “1000 yard rusher.” Wow, really? He can average 62.5 yards per game–yes, let’s give him millions.

  6. The dude is in store for a major wakeup call.
    He’s waiting big $ which will never happen.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t play this year.

  7. Or it could be there isn’t a huge demand for Running Backs that average 3.9 yard per carry, have work ethic questions, and want 8 million per season.

    8 million is a lot to invest in a single player – especially one that could be on the downside of his career.

  8. I think he is going to be another Shawn Alexander. Signed a big contract then out of the league by year three. I think there is a huge gap between what he thinks he is worth and what the market will bear, and I think he would rather sit at home and watch games than play for less then he thinks he is worth.

  9. To CJ’s surprise, this is what happens when you have work ethic issues and you say you won’t work out for new teams.

  10. Or perhaps its good business to wait until after the draft. You know, since its just a few weeks away. Why spend millions on CJ 1K when you can spend thousands on Carlos Hyde or someone like that in the 2nd round.

  11. The Saints Tailbacks:

    •Pierre Thomas: Underrated, best jack all of trades, tremendous in pass protection
    •Mark Ingram: The prodigal son getting one last shot, often described as the next “Emmitt Smith”
    •Travares Cadet: 6’0″ former QB/WR at Appy. State, great hands, great in space. The Sproles Replacement.
    •Khiry Robinson: Insurance in case Ingram goes down. Was doglike at the end of ’13

    As you see we have no need for Johnson, as we are four deep. But we will take him for his speed if he is willing to be a special teams gunner.

  12. Still see more money in his future if he waits to sign with a contender that has money that also doesn’t draft a RB and gets an injury at the position. You just need those 4 things and nothing else. Well you need Chris Johnson to want to play there too. And that’s it. Well Chris avoiding injury, you need that. So you just need a contender, they have some money, miss out on drafting a RB, another RB gets hurt, but Chris does not, and he wants to go there anyhow. Well you need that team to not trade for another RB too, and then that’s it, that’s all you need. And Chris needs to avoid getting arrested for anything, you definitely need that.

    So that’s it, you don’t need one other thing, just the contender, the money, no RB drafting, an RB injury, Chris wanting go there, and avoiding an injury, no trade for the other team, Chris staying out of jail, and of course the paddle-ball game and the remote control and the lamp, you need that stuff for sure.

  13. Well, in addition to the extremely soft market for RB, you have a guy who was perennially unhappy with his contract even when he was making good money. So I can’t imagine he would be too happy at $3.5 million per year. He was also unhappy anytime there was a suggestion that he be given the ball fewer than 20 times per game. He was also accused of not running that hard, particularly when he was displeased with his contract. So yes, you have a talented player, but there are many reasons why teams would not be in a hurry to sign him. I also doubt that he would be happy to sign for something like $5 million per year, which would have to be the high-watermark of any offers he would get.

    I’m sure there are several teams that would be happy to sign him, but it’s likely that he will have to accept the new reality of the RB market, and possibly working as a tandem back, to sign with a new team.

  14. I think the Chiefs and Seahawks would argue the importance of a running back. However, it all hinges on the scheme and the QB whether a GM wants to spend the big bucks on the RB.

  15. Remember when some people were saying he was as good or better than Adrian Peterson? CJ has talent, but nowhere near the heart and determination of Adrian Peterson. It’s what separates the also-rans from the HOFers.

  16. Broncos are all in this season.
    Broncos are soft at the running back position.
    Broncos are the best spot for Johnson.

  17. The market for RBs has seen the bottom fall out this year. This was a bad move by CJ… he might end up losing a lot of money on this.

    MJD is making half of what he was in Jax, Ben Tate didn’t get near what he thought he would.

    CJ will $2-3M, $4M tops. This is why…

    This should have been a TD, instead that was a 2 yard carry…

  18. So teams are in no rush to sign him, because he was in no rush to get past the line of scrimmage after signing for 60 million. makes perfect sense to me, I wouldn’t be in any rush to sign a slacker either!

  19. A few teams are not anywhere close to where they need to be in order to meet the minimum player spending required by the CBA. One of these teams might well give Johnson a one year, inflated contract just to meet this requirement. If he is smart, he’ll use that to get the best deal possible as a free agent the next year.

  20. people who note the “horrible last few seasons” in tennessee seem to forget how horrible of a team it was. Who was their quarterback, and name any of their big threats at reciever besides Nate Washington (britt was always hurt or suspended). And the O-line wasnt exactly good. So its kind of hard to have a good year when youre getting hit 3 yards in the backfield by 4 guys who were stacking the line.

  21. It is possible that some teams are waiting for June 1 to pass so that they have extra cap money to work with but I think the primary reason is that there are a lot of decent (not great) RBs in this year’s draft. Sometimes it is better to draft and mold your own player.

  22. Btw anyone who thought Pittsburgh was a potential home and are judging Johnson because Munchak did not fight for him enough, well, they’re missing the Salary Cap.
    Steelers got Blount for Minimum plus a ham sandwich I think.
    That was all we had in our account, and, more than enough for a number two back. Johnson isn’t an alternative to Blount, he is an alternative to Bell.
    It was never in the cards.

  23. Just please don’t let Denver or New England find a way to fit him under their cap. CJ with Peyton no matter where his skills are now would be deadly. He’s still fast.

  24. I think his “trying to avoid contact” schtick has as much to do with it as $$ & work ethic.

  25. It seems quite obvious that RBs in the NFL should form their own union. There is no question that they are subjected to more violent contact than any other position; this has basically always been the case. The question is why are the RBs all of a sudden expected to participate at such a discount. Reminds me of a line from the movie “Glory” where Denzel Washington’s character is heard saying “Black soldiers will catch bullets for a cheaper price than white soldier” in response to the inequity of the salaries during the Civil War. Considering the risk of injury across the board in the league, there is an apparent inequity of salaries during this period of NFL history concerning the RB position. Chris Johnson as well as all RBs should seek assistance from the players association. See how the league functions during a RBs strike.

  26. The man will be a major contributor for any team. He will now have to play his butt off, Tennessee did not use this guy right. Kinda did whatever he wanted too. Seemed like there was no kind of structure for a guy like this. I am not a fan of him but i respect his god given abilities. Interested to see where he lands!

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