Chris Johnson wants the ball more or wants out

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With a new coach heading his way who isn’t necessarily beholden to him, Titans running back Chris Johnson might want tread lightly.

After all, his $8 million salary might not fit with the new guy’s ideas about the position or the system.

But Johnson reversed field on politeness, saying if the new coach wasn’t going to use him more, he’d rather leave.

“I feel like if they are not going to use me the way I am supposed to be used and let me be the horse, then I would rather them let me move on. Their money would be wasted on me,” Johnson told Jim Wyatt of the Tennesseean. “I feel like if they are not going to use me right, let somebody get me that’s going to use me the right way.”

Johnson said he wasn’t asking for a trade, and that he’d continue to work hard if the Titans kept him, but said that he wasn’t taking a pay cut.

But after running for just 1,077 yards this year (the second-lowest total of his career), he’s feeling antsy.

“No disrespect, I love Tennessee and would love to be in Tennessee. But I feel like I am wasting the prime years of my career if I am not used right. You feel me?” Johnson said. “It is crazy to look at backs around the league and see the opportunities they have. I am not a coach, and I am not a G.M. But if I am paying a player to make him the top-paid guy on the team, there is no way in critical situations that he is going to be on the sideline. Around the goal line, I’d come out.

“I want to help the team win. People say, ‘He is not worth the $10 million, he is not worth the $8 million.’ I feel like if you give me $8 million, let me earn it. At crucial times of the game, I shouldn’t be on the sideline watching.”

Of course, the Titans might decide they don’t want him anywhere, after he averaged a career-low 3.9 yards per carry, with just two 100-yard games.

95 responses to “Chris Johnson wants the ball more or wants out

  1. “I feel like if they are not going to use me the way I am supposed to be used and let me be the horse, then I would rather them let me move on. Their money would be wasted on me,”

    Um, hate to break this to you CJ2K, but the Titans ALREADY FEEL LIKE they wasted their money on you!

    Don’t let the door hit your hind end on the way out.

  2. He might want to consider the real possibility that he is washed up as an NFL running back, and that he will soon embark on his life work…. Just sayin.

  3. He’s right. Minnesota rode the back of Peterson to the playoffs last year…the Titans should do the same thing. He should be getting 25-30 touches per game….especially given the lack of talent at the other positions on their offense.

  4. he sounds a bit delusional… hard to feed him the rock when he gets 0, 1 or 2 yards hoping at some point he’ll break one for 70 while killing multiple possessions in the meantime. Give me the guy who gets the steady 4-5 yards with a lot of that yards after contact, but almost never over 20, instead.

  5. I think its a good attitude, really. He’s not saying he wants more money. He’s saying he wants to earn his salary and if they’re not going to let him do that, why keep him around at all?

  6. I am squarely on the “cut Chris Johnson” train. I think $8M is too much to pay any RB, even AP, but especially a guy who’s barely getting you 1,000 yards a season. RBs just aren’t that much of a difference maker any more. It certainly helps to have a good running game, which you can get without paying $8M a year, but the passing game has to be in order to win in the NFL.

  7. The Titans can’t use you as a workhorse because they’re normally playing catchup, because you don’t do anything in the 1st half.

  8. He still has break away speed, but he needs to be in a system that better suits him. He needs to be in a situation where he can catch a lot of balls, and the offense has a half way decent QB.

  9. LOL. And to think someone else like Jerry Jones will pick him up on a fat contract after this one. You know, money boosts a players profile so therefore they can play better. Thats the NFL owner way.

  10. “2013” Most overrated/Overpaid RBs

    3. Ray Rice
    2. CJ2K
    1. Trent Richardson (possibly the worst RB in the history of the game.. two 1st round picks, smh)

  11. Signing Chris Johnson to that huge contract was a mistake. They should’ve spent that money on the offensive line. Instead they showed you what happens to a speed back when huge holes aren’t there. It hasn’t been pretty.

    I thought it was extremely short sighted at the time and mainly a PR move as he was the most recognizable titan to the fans. I have seen nothing since to convince me i was wrong.

  12. Too many coherent sentences to have actually been said by Chris Johnson. I’m not buying it.

  13. I’m sure he’ll call al sharpton next to come and picket the front office until he gets his way. Political correctness and entitlement don’t work mr. pansy you actually have to produce in the nfl, but you’ll find that out soon enough!

  14. I agree with him.

    Probably more than one team out there willing to pay him 8M and give him 350 touches also. Seems a little bit like Reggie’s situation prior to leaving N.O. To get that yds/carry up you need to break some, that takes touches…

  15. What you actually just got yourself, was cut. You have been nothing but average since you broke the bank, so dumping you and your salary is what the new regime will do, to rebuild the team. And as a free agent, no one is going to touch you at your current salary, so you’ll be taking a pay cut after all. AP ran for 2,000 yards after tearing his knee apart. You ran for 1,000 after cashing a $40 million check.

  16. Still has breakaway speed but his numbers have diminished yearly since his 2000 yd season in 2009. If he doesn’t take a salary cut he will be cut.

  17. I see nothing wrong with what Johnson is saying here. He even seems unwilling to just take the money for little work; isn’t that an admirable thing?

  18. In today’s game, you should only pay above veteran minimum for an RB if he is also great at catching the ball and pass blocking.

    Better to create a system that will allow anyone to average 4.5 yrds/carry than spend to buy last year’s production.

  19. He’ll be 29 next season. In today’s NFL, that’s the beginning of the end, and I’d tread lightly. With a new Head Coach, and a mediocre team, he could easily find himself looking for a team. Who’s the last big name free agent running back to change teams and play at a high level?

  20. I know this may sound crazy, but it sounds a little like he is more concerned with scoring easy 1-yard touchdowns than helping his team win. Again, I know it sounds nuts when we’re talking about this fine upstanding young man…

  21. When he and the Titans part ways, the next complaint is that he is only offered a third of what he makes now.

  22. I’d defer to Titans fans on this, but from where I’m sitting he’s not wrong. With the guys they have on the field their offense should be a lot better than it is.

  23. Greed? The guy says he wants more work, wants to be in there when the game is on the line, wants to do his part and carry the team.

    That’s greed?

    Pay me or trade me, that’s greed.

    Play me or let me go, that’s the drive I expect from a player.

    I don’t think CJ is as good as his 2k season made him look, nor as bad as the Titans have made him look the last couple seasons.

    I happen to agree with him, use him or let him loose. Someone else will pay that much for top tier RB and yes, he’s still a top tier RB.

  24. NFL running backs who are MUCH better than Chris Johnson:

    Adrian Peterson
    Jamaal Charles
    LeSean McCoy
    Matt Forte
    DeMarco Murray
    Alfred Morris
    Marshawn Lynch
    Eddie Lacy
    Ryan Mathews
    Doug Martin
    Reggie Bush
    Frank Gore
    Zac Stacy
    Arian Foster

    – Titans Fan

  25. Bring back LenDale!

    Remember him? He called himself “Thunder” so he wouldn’t have to train too hard.

  26. Yeah because he has done so well the past 2 years when he has the ball. He was a 1 year trick pony. The guy is fast but not a good RB.

  27. Are you sure that’s what he said? With all that garbage in his mouth, I never can understand him. Sounds like something he would say though.

  28. This guy makes me sick. His attitude and comments to the media following his 2,000 yard season during his holdout – I absolutely knew he would be one who squeezed out all the money the Titans could spare and become an absolute flop. Of course, this IS what ended up happening.

    He is a small-back with a questionable work-ethic. He deserves mediocre-pay for his below-average play.

  29. Loved CJ as a rookie. Game-changer.

    He was most effective when he was getting 15 to 20 touches a game, and he could rip off explosive plays. Even during the last third of his 2K year, the focus seemed to change to individual stats. CJ is certainly a me-guy, but the team calls the plays, and they messed it up. When they made him a 25 to 30 touch guy, he became far less effective.

    I would have cut him two years ago. Not worth the money, and very little production. He used to break a long one once in a while to help his average, but even less of that now. Titans need more five and six yard runs, not a bunch of 1s and 2s.

    It might be the line, but all that says it that the OL is more important than the back. Which most of us think is true anyway.

    Individual goals affecting play calling are a bad thing in football.

    Maybe CJ is right. Titans are incapable of using him correctly or the OL sucks. I do know that Titans can’t get value for their 8 or 10M.

    C Ya 2K
    or Go-Away 2K…

  30. I watch in a few titans game and my take for what i saw is that they DON’T have a QB with a strong arm that drives any fear in defenders much less have any mobility to keep the defense honest.and until they sort out the QB position, teams will just load up the box and limit what johnson could do , plus i find a lack of imagination in the offense play calling but i guess that goes hand in hand in what they have at QB or lack thereof.

  31. He’s not an elite player anymore and he isn’t a winner. He wants to play more snaps because he wants more yards, not to win games. He would definitely be a good pick up for another team from a skill perspective, but he has a crappy attidute and about 2 years left before he’s done.

  32. Chris is absolutely right on his assessment. I live in Nashville, and even the local reporters don’t like the way Chris is being used. The problem with the Titans is, they have never hired a true Offensive minded Coach. See Andy Reid and Chip Kelly. It is like every time McCoy, and Jammal Charles get Handed the ball, their is abundance of space. They run screens, dump offs to their backs in space to allow them to get easy yards and potentially more with their speed and shifty moves.

    When i do watch Titan games, i never see any of these things. The Titans also run a lot of power runs, which makes no sense since Chris’ strengths are his speed, and shifty moves.

    He is absolutely correct and if the Titans hire a defensive minded coach or another former O line guy, turn coach, if i was Chris, i would ask for a trade right away.

  33. phiddysent says:Jan 8, 2014 7:57 AM

    He’s right. Minnesota rode the back of Peterson to the playoffs last year…the Titans should do the same thing. He should be getting 25-30 touches per game….especially given the lack of talent at the other positions on their offense.


    Right, and Minnisota scored 10 points in the playoff game. A running back, no matter how good, cannot be the centerpiece of an NFL team anymore. Even in the past if you look at the successful teams with great running backs they all had good QBs too. Cowboys, Denver, Steelers and even Baltimore last year. The RB is complimentary, not the main attraction on good teams. Look at Detroit with Sanders, Steelers pre Big Ben, Vikings currently. It doesn’t work.

  34. This is the kind of guy Al Davis would have picked up and overpaid. Not anymore. Me-first isn’t allowed in Oaktown with the new regime and Chris Johnson personifies that mentality.

  35. Have you ever noticed when someone uses the words “no offense, but”, or “no disrespect”, what usually follows is an offensive or disrespectful comment?

    CJ kills me. He got his 2k season, then realized that meant he wouldn’t have to work the rest of his life!

  36. I feel like if they are not going to use me the way I am supposed to be used and let me be the horse, then I would rather them let me move on
    They shoot horses, don’t they???

  37. Why can’t we get audio of this?
    It would be much more entertaining… There’s no telling what he really said. This is probably the best guess.

  38. I really thought CJ2k was going to lead the league in rushing this year. The titans were built to be a run-first team.

    In watching what little of the titans i did this year, they did not strike me as a run first team but more of a mediocre offense that mixes it up more than it should.

    While the performance CJ2k put up does not add up to him deserving 8million, if they let this guy walk to another team and I mean the right team, he could get an already good team over the top and the titans will regret it for the rest of their franchise history.

  39. I can appreciate it when a player wants the ball more, but he needs to realize that he’s not worth &8 million. If he gets cut he knows he will get a chunk of guaranteed money (no where near the amount of his current contract) from another team.

  40. Wow Titans Fan act as if they are God’s Gift to the Football World based of the comments I’m reading. HE IS the best player to EVER WEAR that uniform NOT Named Steve McNair. 8 Man fronts Jake Lock/Ryan Fitz at QB. Lol Hilarious! They are TERRIBLE! And all Titans Fans Seem to FORGET or just don’t kno that the Average point of contact for TN RBs is -2yards. Over the past couple years. Worst in the League. Sound Like a TERRIBLE O-Line and QB situation. But let’s not forget the 2K back has to Block for him self as well, take the snaps from center and complete a couple passes right? TN will probably always be a TALENT WASTELAND!

  41. Johnson caught lightning in a bottle with an oline that gave him GAPING holes that one year, and he rode it all to the bank.

    He has one of the worst, if not the worst, YACs in the entire league for an RB.

    Your effectiveness, or lack therof, would only be heightened if they gave you the ball in the red zone, because you can’t do anything after contact……You fall like a tree.

    The Titans got raped, but the willingly gave him the cash.

    I just can’t believe the Titans have kept him the last few years.

    No way he is on the Titans next year.

    He will be on another team next year, for near NFL minimum, and be out of the league by 2015.

    All those pundits who actually thought Johnson was in Peterson’s class are clueless.

  42. If they do give him the ball more he’ll just run right into the line like he has the last 2-3 seasons. Just where does he think he’ll excel?

    However, the Titans offense has been terrible. Locker is a 55%’er, so why not load the box? CJ could be right.

  43. You’re not going to get more touches until you show production with the touches you do get. And there’s more to production than just who the ball carrier happens to be.

    Ray Rice is in the same boat. Offensive line can’t move anyone. No point in running into the backside of your o-linemen 30 times per game. Gotta find other ways to get it done.

  44. Again, why continuity is overrated.

    People look at failures turned success stories and say “continuity is the key to success.”

    No it isn’t.

    Earning the right to stay is the key to continuity that is vital for success.

    The best way to do it is not act like a declining contributor.

    CJ1K (1077 yards rushing can’t make you CJ2K) is declining. He’s gotta go.

  45. I cant’ believe the hate that CJ receives on a daily basis everytime he makes a statement, Im a die hard Titans fan yes a diehard fan its only maybe a few of us but as a fan I 100% agree with what he is saying here: Give me a back that never misses a game, that doesn’t get into trouble outside the game, and that can rush for 1,000+ yards a season, the real problem in Tennessee is these high school grade offensive coordinators that we’ve had since Heimidinger left~RIP…Too my true Titans fans when CJ does actually leave I strongly believe that we will be wanting him back when he goes to a system and to a coordinator that actually knows how to use CJ…What most of you don’t understand is this is a marathon if your a running back in today’s game CJ knows how to take hits and use his body that keeps him healthy// He’s earned his keep here in Tennessee from my perspective the one’s responsible for exploiting his skill set hasn’t…..In all I’d hate to see him go because where do we go from this point because he’s not the problem.

  46. As a die-hard Titan fan let me just say, anyone saying “he’s right” or “Titans should ride him like AP”etc. clearly don’t watch very much Titan football (can’t say I blame you).

    The guy is a shell of what he once was. CJ2K was a long time ago. Sure the OL hasn’t been great. Sure we the scheme hasn’t been a perfect fit for his skillset. But he has drastically declined as well. Even when he does get to the open field, he can’t make anyone miss anymore. He starts to go down as soon as a defender breathes on him. And worst of all, he only gives full effort when he feels like it. If there’s a giant hole in front of him, he’ll run hard because he wants to score. If there isn’t he just kinda hops around in the backfield, jogs to the LoS, and dives to the ground.

    Unacceptable from a guy you’re paying 8-10 mill per year. The guy is as selfish as they come. He looked like a totally different (i.e. better) back week 17 than he did the rest of the season. Why? Because he wanted to make sure he got to 1,000 yards. Only he cares about is money and numbers.

  47. Okay, maybe the OL does suck, and maybe the QBs are not a threat, and it is entirely possible that he has nowhere to run. What is surprising is that when CJ-cant-stay is not in the game, the RB2 and RB3s seem to gain more YPC than CJ.

    I’m not talking about garbage time either. RB is the most replaceable of all positions – except K and P, of course. He was awesome, got paid, got older, and might be behind a bad line. His YPC is horrible and is only lifted by an occasional long run or it would be far worse.

    CJ-cant-stay. Not enough value for 8M. He won’t even get 2M per year on the open market…

  48. I think I understand where CJ is coming from. But, I don’t necessarily agree 100% with what he’s saying. I think he gets the ball plenty. I just don’t think he gets the ball in the best situations to fit his skill set.

    Either way, I think Titans fans are a lil hard on him. They like to say he’s only had one good year. But if you look at his numbers, he’s not nearly as bad as Titans fans make him out to be. If you compare his numbers to Adrian Peterson’s, there’s actually not a lotta difference. If you take away both their 2k seasons. AP avergaes about 13k a year and CJ averages about 12k a year. And you can actually go a lil deeper than that. That 13k average AP has is helped largely by an 18k season he had mixed in there. You take away that, and he averages about the same as CJ, taking away his 2k yearr of course. So according to that logic that CJ only had one good year. You have to also say AP only had two good years. I’m not putting CJ in AP’s league because he’s not. But I’m trying to shine a lil light on how delusional and unrealistic Titans fans are when it comes to CJ.

  49. kenny2neworleans says:
    Jan 8, 2014 8:18 AM
    He still has break away speed, but he needs to be in a system that better suits him. He needs to be in a situation where he can catch a lot of balls, and the offense has a half way decent QB.


    I agree he has the speed, but kind of disagree on the QB part…CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson had their best years with Ryan Fitzpatrick as the QB – Spiller was an incredible weapon in the receiving game.

  50. Seems like a logical statement to me, I don’t see why he’s getting all the hate?? He’s saying that he doesn’t deserve the $8M right now so either let him earn it or let him go. He’s not saying what anyone isn’t thinking so nice that he can man up and admit that he’s not earning his money. The opposite would him saying, “you paid me deal with it”….some fans just like to hate I guess.

    Others are saying “It’s a team game” “It’s more about wins so why is he complaining” They definitely aren’t winning so those theories go out the window.

  51. 95 1,742 18.3 7,965 4.6 83.8
    gms attempts att/gm yards per avg a game

    well considering you can only play in 96 games since the 08′ season
    who in the hell Titans fans are you going to get to match this production in 6 seasons? No wonder its hard to find talent that wants to play for this franchise all we do is complain bout the good in it smh

  52. to everyone saying this guy is washed up and hasn’t earned his contract. Look at the facts. This guy has not rushed for under 1,000 yards in a season for his ENTIRE career. He has gone over 1,400 yards from scrimmage in EVERY season. He has managed to go over 1,000 yards the last 3 seasons on a reduced workload. I don’t think you all realize he’s that good, or how few other backs can put that on their resume. I’m no Titans homer, just stating the facts.

  53. Chris Johnson leads the league in “fewest yards per dollar” — not a category with which to lean on management, I’d warn him

  54. I am of the opinion that the Titans should part ways with CJ. But I don’t feel that way because I don’t think he’s still a very good player. I feel that way because I think its time for a total rebuild.

    That said, I have some interesting numbers when it comes to how CJ stacks up with some of the “elite” RBs in football:

    Frank Gore made the Pro Bowl this season. He finished the season with 37 more rushing yards that CJ. He averaged .3 of a yard more per carry. And had less scrimmage yards.

    Marshawn Lynch averaged .3 yards more a carry than CJ.

    Matt Forte’s ypc was 4.3.

    And if you look at all of the RBs that made the Pro Bowl this season. CJ averages more yards per year than all of them with the exception of AP, even if you take away his 2k year. A lotta people tend to believe that “elite” RBs are getting 1500-1600yds a year. But that simply not accurate. Most of them have had a year or two with 1500yds+. And with the exception of those, most average right around 1000yds a year. CJ averages about 1200, if you take away his 2k year. So he’s not nearly as bad as some of you think.

    And speaking of the 1000yd mark. People are quick to dismiss 1000yds because its “only” a lil more than 60yds a game. But think about this. They’ve been playing a 16 game schedule for 35yrs. And only six guys have hit the 1000yd mark in the first six seasons. Emmitt Smith didn’t. Wddie George didn’t. Adrian Peterson didn’t. My question is. If getting 1000yds is so

  55. Cut my post off, sorry. All I was saying in closing is that if getting 1000yds is so east. Why haventt more backs done it at least six years in a row?

  56. I’m starting to think that the “CJ has to go” folks may end up being disappointed. Couple reasons. Tommy Smith has already come out and CJ pretty much echoed what Smith said. Secondly, the Titans are probably gonna hire an offensive minded coach. And I’m sure dam near every OC in football looks at CJ and thinks “that guy would get 2000 scrimmage yards a year if I had him.” Also, I’m pretty sure any offensive coach that comes here is gonna wanna keep CJ, opposed to going in with Greene as the starter or an unproven rookie. I could be wrong. But at this point, it wouldn’t shock me at all to see CJ back at his current price tag. At the most they probably restructure and give him less guaranteed and put the money he loses in incentives.

  57. thank you. This was my point exactly. CJ is way better than people give him credit for. Most people just see it as “well he sucks in fantasy, so he sucks as a football player too”. Sorry guys, those things are not congruous.

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