DeAngelo Williams contract complicates Chris Johnson situation

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Titans running back Chris Johnson is due to make $800,000 in 2011, the next-to-last season of his rookie contract.  (I was going to say “penultimate,” but then I would have had to thank Tiki and/or Steve Young.)  Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams agreed to terms Wednesday on a five-year, $43 million contract with $21 million guaranteed.

Johnson, as Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean pointed out weeks before the Johnny-come-latelys, plans to hold out unless he gets a new deal.  And if a new deal is coming, it’s not coming soon.  We’re told that there have been no discussions between the two sides in the past couple of days.

Wednesday’s decision of the Panthers to give Williams a huge contract complicates the situation significantly.  Sure, the Titans could try to adapt the once-relevant “but the Raiders are crazy” explanation to the Panthers.  But it won’t matter.  If a 28-year-old tailback who maxed out at 1,515 in 2008 and has two 1,000-yard seasons in five years and who played in only six games per year is worth more than $8.5 million a year and $21 million guaranteed, how much is a guy who rushed for 1,228, 2,006, and 1,364 in his first three seasons worth?

For most backs, 1,364 yards would be cause for a week-long celebration.  For Johnson, it was a major disappointment.

This one already was destined to get ugly, possibly even uglier than the Darrelle Revis holdout of 2010.  By driving Johnson’s expectations even higher, the Williams contract only makes it more likely that the ugliness is coming.

44 responses to “DeAngelo Williams contract complicates Chris Johnson situation

  1. Williams was under his rookie contract when he broke out in 2008… did he whine & complain about money? NO. Does anyone hear Adrian Peterson bitching about his contract? NO. I hope the Titans make an example of this guy.

  2. Pay the man. He’s a running back that only gets one real good shot at a huge contract. CJ deserves it. Nobody gives a top-tier RB two big paydays (see Alexander, Shaun).

  3. “By driving Johnson’s expectations even higher, the Williams contract only makes it more likely that the ugliness is coming.”

    Oh please don’t tell me he’s gonna rap about this.

  4. How does it complicate things? Chris Johnson has a contract – just because he doesn’t like doesn’t mean he needs a raise. It’s called business.

  5. I get where he is coming from…I’d take C.J. all day long over Deangelo, but I’m not sure I would jeopardize being able to become a free agent next year. My guess is he will stay absent until it is in the final hour of him being able to call it an eligible season, unless of course the Titans pony up.

  6. If I had CJ’s talent, you couldn’t get me to even put the jersey on for $800k. Can’t blame the man.

  7. Ha. Tell that to the guy in our league who “kept” him. He offered him in a trade last night.

    Uh, no sir.

  8. I know the front offices of the Titans and the Bears must have called Carolina after they heard just to say “thanks guys, we really appreciate it”

  9. Big difference: Williams was a FREE AGENT. Johnson still has 2 YEARS left on his contract. Sorry but if Johnson wants more than Williams he’ll have to play out his deal.

  10. Not only that, but this contract also sets a potentially nasty precedent for running backs whose contracts expire after this season. Some notable names are Ray Rice, Matt Forte, Peyton Hillis, and Frank Gore. Lots of teams will be breaking the bank next year to keep their RBs on their rosters.

  11. Deangelo’s contract also screws up AP getting an extension in Minny…not that’s its relevant to this thread, just sayin…

  12. fans kill me when they say an athlete should honor his contract. yes in a way that’s true but if they out perform their contract to the extent of chris johnson and desean jackson they should holdout for more money. if you got hired at a job making 10 dollars an hr. and you do twice the amount of work that your co-worker does and they make 100 dollars an hr. your telling me u wont bitch about it. williams will make ten times what johnson will this year. holmes will make 10x plus what jackson will make. in a brutal game like football if you have the skills you should go for all u can get.

  13. “Durrr he signed a contract, he has to play it out”

    Why, would you really do that if you were in his shoes? In two years, when his body has sustained some injury (especially since the Titans will likely lean on him now more than ever), do you think they’ll be rewarding him with a contract, or will they toss him on the heap and move on to the next?

    If you were in his shoes, and you had clearly outperformed your contract and given it your all time after time, and you were faced with the sobering reality that RBs don’t have a huge window to get that contract, wouldn’t you do the same?

    Fans: get behind your players a little bit more.

  14. Adrian Peterson is due $10.72 million in the final year of his contract.

    Thats why he isnt complaining and CJ is. If AP was due $800k he may not be as happy.

  15. Guys like CJ disgust me. Look at Forte – he’s not holding out and even said it “accomplishes nothing.” He’s right. Well, it makes the player holding out look like a greedy —-.

    For the record, has a veteran QB ever held out of training camp for a new contract…? Ever?

  16. This is a little misleading. Williams did not get to run much his first two years because of a sorry coach, that now coaches in Denver, named John Fox, does not like playing rookies.

    But when he officially got the job, his first two years he had like 2400 yards today, I think.

    He did get hurt last year. But this guy is a poor man’s Barry Sanders. He is so exiting to watch when he gets the ball.

    End of Line.

  17. terrellochouno- AP is also set to make 10+ million dollars this year, not 800K. If you had a finite amount of yards in your legs, would you hit the field for 800K and risk injury and messing up your pay day. I dont think so.

  18. nagidac – Remember when Owners/GMs would honor a contact and not cut players because they make to much money. Contracts go both ways, the owners don’t honor theirs. Why should the players.

  19. You people are really a joke, the media folks that is. Every other year a club raises the bar on a positions salary.

    Haynesworth, Weedle, S. Holmes lol, DeAngelo and on and on we go. When it is a Team you light in the loafers writers have a man crush on the coach it is a “genius” move. lol

    A market will set itself and adjust itself. You have always had big spenders in life, fun people to hang with. And then you have the ones that “throw nickles around like they were man hole covers”, you know the type, “they have short arms and deep pockets”, the ones that are always playing pocket pool when it is time to pay the check.

  20. If a player under-performs his contract, he is asked to restructure, if he is resistant he is cut.

    If a player out-performs his contract, and wants to maximize on his talents, he is selfish, greedy, “should play out his contract, because, it’s a contract, that he signed, you don’t see AP complaining about his contract”……..AP was the 7th pick, he makes a lot more than CJ2K.

    So in short, raise your boys to be baseball players, where you can rehab an injury for an entire season, and come back throwing harder than when you left (tommy john), and get paid the whole time.

  21. @wwwfella & jaltreality and all the other people who cannot stand by their word, I’ll answer your question.

    No, I wouldn’t bitch. I am a professional and if I want a raise I’ll ask for one. If I gave my word to my boss, he can take me at my word. One of the only things in this world I have is my word. I am a man of my word and I will not apologize for it. What anyone thinks of me is none of my business.

    Be a professional and stop crying. Go to work like the rest of us. Hold out if you like. It isn’t my fault nor the Titans. You signed the contract, stick to it.

    Go Titans!

  22. I am not a fan of hold outs at all, but come on, CJ still has two years left on his rookie deal. You can’t expect the guy to be grossly underpaid for five straight years. And CJ said last summer that he would hold out this summer without a new deal, so the Titans knew this was coming. JUST PAY HIM and move on to other business.

  23. @jbythebay: Frickin’ hilarious!

    So mushmouth wants more money…boo hoo. Sick of these guys whining about not getting paid enough. Then fire your damn agent who agreed to your original contract and find another one! It sure was good enough when you signed it, now wasn’t it?

    And many of you seem to forget about the millions in signing bonus and guaranteed money they get as part of these contracts…trust me, he’s making alot more than $800K this year.

    So cry me a river…why the owners don’t ask for provisions for hold-out penalties to be included into the CBA is beyond me. So go ahead and sit out douche bag…no skin off my ass.

  24. nagidac says: Jul 28, 2011 10:06 AM

    Remember when players would agree to a contract and honor it until it expired before looking for a new contract? Me neither.


    Remember when teams would sign players to a contract and honor it until it expired, even if the player completely sucked? Me neither.

  25. That comment about ap not complaining about his contract is just dumb look at the contracts between cj and ap than tell us y ap isn’t complaining, I can’t stand fake football fans. And matt forte is a bum he doesn’t even belong in the same sentence as cj does. Cj has had 3 awesome years with 1 of those years being the monster 2k season. I don’t like when players hold out for more money either but when your a rb u get hit everytime you touch the ball basically it takes a toll on you and cj definately deserves a new contract no question about it, same goes for desean. Nobody here would play for 800k when your arguebly the best running back in the nfl

  26. johnson is the league’s best running back,he deserves the money! if they pay him now,it’s gonna be a whole lot cheaper!

  27. “the owners don’t honor theirs”

    Can we stop with this nonsense. Owners do honor their contracts. If they didn’t, they would be sued. Just because you don’t like that they have an out, i.e. contracts are not completely guaranteed, it doesn’t mean they do not honor contracts.

  28. CJ is worth over 10 mil a year. Why would he play for 800k and risk injury? He’d be best to sit out the entire season and get a real payday.

    All Day Adrian isn’t complaining or sitting out but he’s also making a lot more than 800k.

  29. Honestly I wouldn’t mind him getting a bigger contract if he didn’t act like such a self righteous dick. He has talent but he has such a bad attitude. Look at Adrian Peterson, that man is humble. He’s not going to hold out he is going to show up and play the game he loves and use his talents and love of the game to get him a bigger contract, which shows great work ethic. Rather than Chris Johnson refusing to show up to training camp and talking about how he deserves so much more when he is honestly still is wet behind the ears and hasn’t proved that he’s reliable (who’s to say he won’t hold out to be traded if they trade/draft for a rb/qb/wr or sign a new coach he doesn’t like?) Just saying.

  30. Then fire your damn agent who agreed to your original contract and find another one! It sure was good enough when you signed it, now wasn’t it?

    Written by someone with no understanding of draft slotting and the very limited parameters — and minimal leverage — rookies have in negotiating their deals. Especially when you are not a top 10-15 pick.

    I don’t have sympathy for top veteran free agents who get a chance to test the market, pick the offer they like best, and then whine a couple of years later that they are underpaid.

    I have a lot more sympathy for rookies who were not top picks and basically have to sign the only contract offered to them, bounded in dollars by their later draft position, and then proceed to outplay just about every vet in the league. It’s a small group and it doesn’t happen often, but it did with CJ.

    The Williams deal may complicate things some, but the fact that the Titans already know what CJ was looking for based on last year’s talks (when he was coming off a 2000-yd season)… could be a lot worse. Imagine if he’d sniffed 2000 again in 2010, instead of being merely very good.

  31. There is no such thing as “not honoring your contract.” It is in CJ’s contract that if he fails to report, he will be fined a certain amount of money. It is also in his contract that he may be cut before a certain date and all future salary is not obligated to be paid. Both sides know and understand the consequences, and both are doing what they think is beneficial for themselves. Which, in the interest of the league and competitive balance, is what should be happening.

  32. I remember how The Broncos handled a similar self proclaimed Clinton Portis. He got his money, and Mike Shannahan had very few contract issues after that.

    Plus we still got the real “Champ”!!!

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