Chris Johnson contract could soon become a problem

4743.jpgTitans running back Chris Johnson, a speedster who rushed for more than 2,000 yards in his second NFL season, recently said he thinks he should be the highest paid offensive player in the game.

So how does he get from a base salary of $550,000 in 2010 to Peyton Manning’s $15.8 million?  Given the rules of the uncapped year, it’d be easier to fit Manning’s head through the eye of a needle.

Even with no salary cap, the 30 percent rule still applies.  And it means that there’s only one way to pay big money to Johnson — by giving him a huge signing bonus.

But such an approach would push bonus proration into future years, forcing the Titans to prepare to take large cap charges based on the money paid in the uncapped year to Johnson, in the event the salary cap returns.  It also would mean that, three years from now, Johnson might forget the huge pile of money he received in 2010, and that he possibly will want more.

Regardless of the practical impediments, we’re told that the situation soon will become a problem.  Given that Johnson was picked 24th overall in 2008, his slot kept him at a relatively low financial package, even with incentives and escalators.  He’ll earn far less, for example, than Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, the seventh pick in 2007, who will have made many extra millions based on his performance through three seasons.

And Johnson surely won’t want to hear about the 30 percent rule or other hurdles.  He believes that he’s due a significant increase, and our guess is that he doesn’t care how it happens, or why it won’t be easy to do it.

65 responses to “Chris Johnson contract could soon become a problem

  1. With RB careers limited to under 8 yr, even for probowl level talent, no agent should allow a potential star RB to sign a contract without an out after 2 yrs. RB have to push for new contracts earlier than any other player, and no one should blame them. As for CJ, 15 mil + a year is ridiculous, but 8-10 is reasonable for a star.

  2. I think Chris Johnson should settle his country ass down and keep playing football. I don’t care how fast he is or how many yards he rushed for last year, he’s under contract. His attitude is exactly why I can’t stand the business aspect of football.

  3. He already received $7 mill+ in bonus and salary the last two years. Now he’s crying because he spent it all.

  4. it’d be easier to fit Manning’s head through the eye of a needle.
    it wouldn’t fit through the eye on an inner tube…

  5. He should be paid a big contract now, because in a few years they will say he carried the ball too much and has too much wear and tear and is getting close to 30.

  6. Or maybe he should just change his first name to Chad… or retire this season (like Barry Sanders) or retire and unretire like Brett Favre…

  7. I never say this, but pay the guy. He is the Titans. Without him last year, this team wins 1 game, maybe. I dont see why they dont reward him and give him a giant contract. I’m not even a Titans fan, but if I was, I would be screaming for this kid to get a new deal. He is a modern day Eric Dickerson. That isn’t a stretch. He has proven that he is better than Adrian Peterson(anyone want to debate, bring it on). He should be rewarded. It isn’t going to slow him down either. Dont’t be dumb Fisher, sign your guy, because this is his run. We all know what happens to running backs after 6-7 seasons.

  8. So the draft and salary system is currently rigged to incentivize teams to not make any player a star unless they were taken in the first few picks. That’s dumb.

  9. I love my Titans and I think Johnson is a bright spot on our team. However, I fear he is going to turn into just another self-centered, greedy pro athlete and leave us for the money ala Haynesworth.

  10. I’m soooo glad milli vanilli is a Titan and not a Seahawk. Can’t wait to see someone tear his ACL so I won’t have to look at or listen to him ever again.

  11. If they have to be creative, be creative.
    You need to reward performance like that. Sends the wrong message to players otherwise.

  12. PAY THE MAN. $550K dear lord. Id get him some cash quick before he runs out, rain making ain’t cheap. But seriously pay him, he’s on the podium for best in the league, top 3 RB for sure. Cheap ain’t good and good ain’t cheap…He’s good.

  13. Chris Johnson should just sit out. The average lifespan of a RB is extremely short, and he’s the best in the NFL. He deserves to get paid.
    So, yeah, just sit out. You’ve already proven what you can do. They need you… you don’t need them.

  14. Use him up for the remainder of his contract and then let him hit free agency. RB shelf life, especially for a snap hungry runner like Johnson, is simply too short for any team to cap-cripple themselves.
    If I’m the Titans, I put RB on my draft board and forget about this. If he dogs it, he’ll hurt his chances at making money in FA..if he plays hard..he helps us win. Either way..grab another back and let this this contract expire.

  15. If Mr. Johnson doesn’t like the current contract he signed, he can always leave the NFL and try his luck in another profession…but I’m confident he won’t make anywhere near the money he is right now.

  16. Johnson has a loud mouth, he said before this past season he wanted to be the MJ of football. But for what it’s worth, he frickin’ backed it up on the field!
    Before we all parade on how “blah blah these football players always demanding money blah blah blah”, when you’re a 23-24 year old running back who just ran for 2,000 yards, you don’t want to end up like Jamal Anderson or Terrell Davis, suddenly realizing that in not asking for a big pay-day sooner than you did, you relied upon those 3-4 NFL seasons that injuries ultimately denied you to cover that lost salary and provide you and your family for the immediate post-NFL future.
    Johnson’s a professional, and a very good one. If I were as productive, talented and young I too wouldn’t want to take the risk of waiting a number of years, risking injury or gradual breakdown, to finally get paid the $$$ that former #2 overall Reggie Bush received for producing half as much at the same position.

  17. is he the best rb in the game right now? yes he probably is…. but guess what? rb’s are a dime a dozen… in no situation EVER should a rb be the highest paid player in the league… not while manning, brady roethlisberger are playing…
    rb is perhaps the most dime a dozen positions… not to take away from his talent but brady and manning carried their teams to playoff wins… CJ didnt carry them to the playoffs, even with a 2000 yard season..
    …again i have nothing against him but he is about as subtle as a bear breaking into a butcher shop and nearly as humble as most people on welfare…………………..he likes to remind everyone how fast he is and how good he is…. ok bro, we get it…

  18. This article is nothing but irrational, speculative drivel. Sure he said he thinks he should be the highest paid offensive player – he did just gain more yards from scrimmage than any player in history after all. But did he make any threats whatsoever (veiled or otherwise) about holding out, hiring a new agent, or requesting a trade? Did he express “dismay” or “disappointment” in management’s reluctance to pay him more? Or did he simply say that he thinks, not unlike dozens of other players (but with more merit than most of them), that he should be the highest paid. There’s no fire. There’s not even smoke.

  19. Memp!,
    You understand that NFL contracts are not guaranteed right?
    NFL owners can just fire players with no compensation one year or any time into a multiple-year contract. With no compensation at all. So the owners do NOT have to honor their contracts, only their signing bonuses because of how they are paid up front.
    Why should players have to guarantee their services in the contract, but owners don’t have to guarantee the pay?
    If a player is injured under a multi-year contract, they usually are covered and sometimes not depending on the language of the contract.

  20. Chris Johnson might forget he got paid a big bonus? Might? Ah, yeah. I think that’s pretty much a given with this turd. No one should think he will be grateful or appreciative. Ten minutes after they pay him he will forget! Never mind two to three years later.
    He also needs to bear in mind how expendable running backs are. The average life cycle of even a star running back is starting to get into the five year range. Only a handful will ever be “two contract” running backs and the second contract will likely be a three year job, four years max, that fronts a fair bit of bonus money and then scales to a big number (to keep the agent and NFLPA happy) but ultimately leads to the Rb being cut when they reach the LT or FWP or Shaun Alexander phase of their careers.

  21. Maybe it wasn’t a good idea to focus on one guy and push his 2000 yard season through at the expense of the rest of the team. It certainly hasn’t helped his ego.
    After a 358 carry regular season I wouldn’t be in a hurry to pay him anything, he’s ripe for a massive breakdown.

  22. If I’m not mistaken, couldn’t the Titans just give him a massive roster bonus, which would put the full cap hit in the uncapped year? If memory serves, the Vikes did that with Antoine Winfield a few years ago when they had some surplus cap space…

  23. If he runs for even 1500 this season, pay him. But after all the yards and carries last year, let’s see how much he’s got for this season.

  24. This is old news. I don’t see him getting a new contract, nor do I see him holding out, cause he will lose what little money he will be due to make this year and next. He probably would have been a late second rounder possibly even third rounder had we not seen the potential and taken the risk on drafting him in the first round, therefore, he’s already gotten a bigger contract than he was worth to the rest of the NFL. At least 23 teams didn’t think he was worth first round money, but we did. 6 year deal, just going into the 3rd year of it, he has no leverage. See you on the field CJ. Play for a bargain price this year as a thank you for us drafting you in the first round, talk contract next year. But if we gave him a lot of money, I wouldn’t be mad, he is worth it. I’m just happy that Titans keep drafting diamonds in the rough and getting great play from them for a bargain price. Then leave for the fat contract and never live up to it. Haynesworth, antwan odom, travis laboy, randy starks, jevon kearse, just to name a few.

  25. I heard is pushing to be the cover of Madden 11!!!!
    Wait for this year, he’ll get more carries and in 3 years he will be on the decline. Its every great RB’s curse in the NFL. Once u start putting the yards, you’ll get more carries and get injured. Shaun Alexander, Micheal Turner, just to say those 2 and the list can go on and on and on…

  26. Chris Johnson should be required to read, spell, and speak at a 2nd grade level ( minimum) before he gets a raise. Since this will likely never happen, he can go whine and cry in the street for all i care. And Sim448, at least Adrian Peterson’s team is steadily improving every year that he’s been on board… not like CJ’s team who has the best reg. season record, then goes 1 and done in the playoffs, only to come back the next year and open up 0-6. yep, but hey, those 2000 yds are important, though. Too bad you don’t get points for yardage… btw, did CJ have more than Adrian Peterson’s 18 touchdowns last year? ( those actually do show up on the scoreboard).
    I hope this stupid tool gets to race Ussain Bolt. He deserves all the embarassment he has coming to him.

  27. You are worth whatever you can get. In a sport like football where you are always just a play Away from you career being over, you really do have to think about the future. I’m a Chargers fan but there is no way a talent like CJ should be making half a million, even if he has received nice signing bonuses.
    In theory, he should be able to live several lifetimes on what he has already earned in the NFL in 2 short years but these guys like bling and houses and cars and the high-prifile lifestyle that goes with being an NFL star.
    Money he doesn’t earn today is money he can never earn again no matter how big future contracts may be.
    Like someone mentioned, he IS the Titans and I wouldn’t put holding out past him because he knows he has the Titans in a tough spot. Let’s see LenDale White do what CJ does.

  28. Pay the Predator. But not too much. $15 mil is way over the top. Give him more incentives again. Maybe to get 2,00o yards again except Fisher would pull him with 1,800.

  29. He deserves a raise, but didn’t he lead his team to an 0-6 start last season?
    He doesn’t deserve QB money, but no position does.
    No he does not speak or understand the English language.
    Again, he’s a great back, but if he were as good as he thought he be better than a Sanders/Sayers/Brown/Riggins/Emmitt/Bettis/Dickerson combo.

  30. he deserves it pay him….amazing talent, relatively trouble free, more of a character than character issues. yeah, id pay his little ass whatever he wanted

  31. If the Titan organization were smart, this wouldnt even be an issue. Go ahead, get this guy locked down and build around him. They lost Derek Mason, Samari Rolle (and drafted Pac Man), McNair …..just to name a few. Then you go out and over pay players from other teams like Nate Washington (Undrafted), that have NOT done one single thing for the organization. WOW! Bottom-line … PAY the man and get him some help!

  32. i’ll say this as PC as i can – cj is what they used to call in the deep south a (folk who largely picked cotton)…i’m sure i’ll get banned for that – which amazes me b/c iv’e never called florio any of the names i’ve seen him called – but a stone is a stone nonetheless…

  33. This kid is a really good running back….but man he never shuts his mouth and will never let you forget how good he is…..

  34. He’s not wrong. Outside of Manning or Brees, who else did as much for their offense as he did? Maybe Favre, but even that seems like a stretch.

  35. It’s prima donna, genius. Pre-madonna? WTF is that?
    I’m the last one to sympathize with pro athletes’ monetary woes, but Johnson deserves to be rewarded by the Titans for his performance.

  36. I usually side against athletes on these issues, but I actually support Johnson’s desire for a new contract. Running back careers are unbelievably short, and this guy is arguably a top 10 talent in the entire league. Chris Johnson excites fans, wins games, and is a truly electric player– he’s a very special back. Based on his first two years (obviously a very small sample size) this guy has Hall of Fame, “one-of-the-best-ever” potential. (And before everyone freaks out, remember I say potential.)
    It’s interesting how everyone is fine with owners cutting players at any point in their contract, but everyone gets upset when players who tremendously outperform their current contract say they want a new one.
    Obviously us non-millionaires think they make enough money already, but think about how much money (most) owners and NFL upper management makes– players like Chris Johnson are the one of the reasons they make that much money. Also, think about how much JaMarcus Russell makes, simply because he was drafted high, but did nothing to earn that money since he turned professional. I guess what I’m trying to say is…

  37. he is a key piece in that titan offense and because of it he will make vince youngs job a whole lot easier pay the man jeff make him retire a titan. i think when he opens his mouth he could come off like a dummy but no doubt about it that this guy produces on sundays as long as he doesnt make it rain and keeps getting locked up which he dont i dont see him being a problem. 5-8 mil a year sounds right

  38. if i were a team like the cleavland browns i would trade the hole franchize for this guy and give himm anything he want. he will be my 1st pick in fan foot this fall!

  39. Any team in the NFL would give up the 1st round pick for this guy and pay him whatever the slot amount called for and yet most draft experts called him a major reach as a 1st round pick.
    I do not really care who gets the money as long as there are good games on TV for free, but the NFL seems to make the most money, takes the most life out its players and pay them the least amount of money possible. If it were not for Wallstreet, hollywood, MLB, the NBA and even a post lockout hockey paying less known guys a lot more money to headline a loser, then NFL min salary would seem pretty fair compared to some sort of a dangerous contruction job or military service, but it seems a lot like high paid militarty service than like other pro athletes like golfers or tennis players.

  40. Surely the Titans could include the buy-back provisions that the Redskins have just negotiated with Hall and Haynesworth.
    That device has been used to puch a lot of their guaranteed money into the uncapped year, avoiding the proration into future years.
    Obviously it’s a different situation, existing roster bonuses being converted into signing bonuses, but there is almost certainly someway to shoehorn a lot of money into the uncapped year.
    Huge work out bonuses, easy to earn incentives, roster bonuses etc.

  41. @ sim448- So Johnson has proved beyond a shadow of a doubt to be better than A.D.? Let us look at last 2 seasons total. AD-3143 yds 28 tds rushing 64 rec with 0 tds. Whoopi Goldberg- 3234 yds 23 tds 93 rec with 3tds. A.D. is just one of many weapons on the Vikings. Johnson is the Titan offense. He is good and should get paid.As far as being the greatest back, let say we go another season. Those numbers are pretty close. It really is all about scoring production and yards. I hope Johnson gets paid more,maybe than he will be able to afford the English version of Rosetta Stone to go with his 30 inch rimmed Impala.

  42. a bigger contract- yes. 15mil a year no f’ing way even he had ran for 2500 yards, it’s way over market for a running bak

  43. there are very few players out there that i like the game of as much as CJ, but completely dislike from what i have seen out of him as a person. in his interviews he really seems like a complete idiot that doesn’t care much about anything besides himself, his stats and what he’s getting paid. oh…btw…nice gold teeth douchebag. he will probably get paid and go to jail two months later.

  44. If teams can cut or trade a player on a whim when he isn’t performing, then a player has the right to demand to be paid more when he is performing; it’s just business.

  45. The best RB in the NFL
    He wants to be paid before he hits that wall that every RB hits
    I don’t blame him

  46. Suck it up Chris Johnson. Play and let your agent discuss contract behind closed doors. If you don’t like it, i can get you a job in a warehouse back in NC making $10 an hour. He who writes the checks calls the shots and sitting out is just another year gone in your life.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.