Titans will commence efforts to trade Chris Johnson


With the Titans unwilling to pay running back Chris Johnson $8 million in 2014 and Johnson unwilling to take less, the Titans will be moving on.

Before they do, they’ll try to get value in return for the man they selected in the first-round of the 2008 draft, and to whom they’ve paid $30 million in the last three years.

Per a league source, the Titans soon will commence efforts to trade Johnson.  If the Titans can find no takers, they will cut him.

It’s unclear when they would cut him.  With no bonus coming due or a trigger to make all or part of the base salary guaranteed, the Titans don’t have to make a decision until the eve of Week One, when the full salary becomes guaranteed as a practical matter.

If he’s not cut before the launch of the offseason program, the Titans could face a repeat of the ugly final days of Steve McNair’s tenure with the team, when the Titans were hoping both to trade McNair and to keep him from suffering a potential season-ending injury while on the premises, which would have made his full salary guaranteed.  They locked McNair out of the facility, he filed a grievance, and he eventually won.

From Johnson’s perspective, the sooner the release comes, the better.  With a running back market that has yet to generate much buzz, Johnson would quickly go to the top of the class — eclipsing Ben Tate of the Texans, the No. 38 player on the PFT Free Agent Hot 100.

Cutting Johnson would result in a $4 million cap charge.  That amount would be cut in half and spread over two years if he’s released with a post-June 1 designation.

72 responses to “Titans will commence efforts to trade Chris Johnson

  1. Why are the Titans going to waste 1 second trying to trade him?

    There are several dumb teams in the NFL but none are dumb enough to give up draft picks AND have to pay CJ 8 million next year.

    Personally, I think CJ is an idiot. If he kept his mouth shut and had a good attitude he would have made $8 million bucks this year. Now he is gonna get cut and I guarantee nobody will pay him that.

  2. Jets, Browns, Cowboys? Lots of teams need the threat of a running game even if CJ is on the decline. Vikings would be interesting even though that would never happen.

  3. Bud Adams, & Floyd Reese should’ve been punched in the mouth for how they treated McNair that time… But as for CJ and the Titans I hope it all turns out good for both sides. I wish he would take a pay ur and stay with the Titans. There’s no team out there that will give him $8 mil, so I doubt any teams will b willing to trade for him when they simply and just wait until he’s released, and pay him a lot less.

  4. Maybe it’s just me , but . . . if you’ve already made more than thirty million , how much more money do you need ? What if he just said , “I’m want to try and win a Super Bowl ; I’d like to play for a contender.” Just sayin’.

  5. lets be honest, who will trade for him UNLESS he take 60% cut on his salary and 1 year contract…too many good RB’s out there in FA this year and draft..CJ is trash now..

  6. He’ll have a good year if he lands with a team who throws him the ball in space. He can’t run between the tackles. Has to be in a high powered offense to be successful.

  7. “If he kept his mouth shut and had a good attitude he would have made $8 million bucks this year. Now he is gonna get cut and I guarantee nobody will pay him that.”

    Not really, with production being down he still wouldn’t of made that money.

  8. Cleveland should be all over this. They can get him for basically nothing and they still have 2 first round picks they can use for other pieces. Got nothing to lose.

  9. Diva. There are quite a few running backs in the NFL that can average less than four yards per carry and none of them requires even four million a year to do it. Good luck with that trade.

  10. The only reason a team would trade for him is that Titans would probably be willing to retain him through the majority of the offseason and that’s extremely valuable time when switching teams (see Trent Richardson). That being said, no one is going to want to pay that much money, so it may be worth holding out for the discounted rate.

  11. They are probably better off cutting him since they would probably have to package him with a draft pick just to get another team to take him…and get nothing in return.

  12. Running backs are a great compliment to any competent NFL offense, but their days as a featured component are long gone. You’re about to see the right dose of compliment in Green Bay this coming season alongside a healthy Rodgers. The opposite and the downward results can be seen in Minnesota. Peterson is a great compliment to (somebody,) but the Vikings will never get to the promised land if he remains their “go-to” guy, just like Johnson. Doesn’t work .

  13. You got nothing to lose by holding him hostage. A couple of running backs get hurt in truing camp or pre-season, then CJ becomes appealing…warts and all.

    Patience by the front office is the best thing to do.

  14. All signs pointing to CL ending up in Cleveland. Why you ask? Because it’s a bad idea and Cleveland LOVES bad ideas.

  15. Here’s what you do if you’re the Titans. You tell CJ right now: $4m this season or we will cut you on the eve of the season’s start.

    If he takes it, you know financially you’re no worse off if you keep him or cut him… but then you have until the eve of the season’s start anyway to see if you really do want to keep him, or to give you time to see if you actually can trade him for something, even a bag of practice footballs.

    If he balks, you just keep him until the eve of the start of the season, to give him time to cave and thus gives you the first option anyway.

    It’s really a no-lose situation for the Titans…. and a no-win one for CJ, unless/until he realizes that he isn’t going to make even $4m with anyone other than the Titans anyway.

    Remember: you want to hold onto CJ for as long as possible, because the Raiders are always out there and they are always capable of acting like the Raiders usually do (e.g.: two 1st rounders for Carson Palmer).

  16. Johnson + a 3rd in exchange for a 5th sounds fair….

    By the way, in what universe does he go to the “top of the class” when he’s cut? Tate should have multiple suitors. Johnson will attract less attention than MJD, who, while (also) can no longer play, at least is a good locker-room guy.

  17. If the Browns were any good at roster management they could come out of this offseason with Vick, CJ, Gordon and Watkins on offense.

    Fortunately, they are the Browns and will do something stupid like draft Manziel instead.

  18. chris johnson isn’t that good. one very good yr. he is relatively small and isn’t durable. lacks true toughness. only has speed which makes him one dimensional. kinda like reggie bush.

    should have never received the big contract. frankly should have never been drafted to be the feature back.

  19. Any interested team would obviously demand that the Titans pay a portion of his salary. St Louis could REALLY use a RB of his caliber, but not at the full $8 mil

  20. Depending on what happens with Sproles and the price tag, New Orleans might make a run and it seems like a good fit.

  21. If he does get traded it probably won’t be until the draft gets closer. It’s a buyer’s market on RB this year, and the way he has been playing since he got that bump in salary is really that attractive to many teams.

  22. The Titans looking for a trade here is like me looking for a date at a Victorian Secret wrap up party. Sure would be great but I think my chances are better.

  23. The Ravens might be a good landing spot for CJ considering the Ray Rice saga and Bernard Pierce injury woes ,, but it wouldn’t quite get the big bucks

  24. I hate to see the Titans trade him. As a Houston fan, it was so great to see him torture all those wonderful Tennesseeans. The Titans do so deserve him. Eddie George must roll his eyes just thinking about this waste.

  25. Wonder if he would restructure as part of a deal to end up in a trade? That may allow for better cap issues and long term contract for some other team and be a more attractive trade. If not, seems like waiting for him to be released would be the thing to do for any of the other 31 teams.

  26. It makes no sense for the Titans to offer a restructuring. If they sign him to new contract or extension then trade him, all guaranteed money on that new contract/extension immediately accelerates to this season’s cap. That doesn’t help them at all.

    The only way he gets a new contract or extension is if the Titans intend to keep him past this season, which they obviously are not going to.

  27. I’d rather see my team sign Ben Tate. I’m not sure many teams would rate him “top” of the free agent class.

  28. id give u 6th rd pick if he agrees to take paycut down to 4 mill with bonuses that will get him to 8 mill meaning he rushes for 1500 plus yards he gets thebonus

  29. When one of your friends and former teammates outs you as a “me first” player, your trade value goes out the window. I wouldn’t wish CJ on the Raiders, Redskins, or Browns. Make him learn the hard way by cutting him outright and make him play for the league minimum.

  30. Why would you admit to releasing him?

    No one is going to trade anything now, unless said trade partner is in a situation to where it would need to get rid of a player desperately.

    If I were to be anyone, I would just wait it out until his release, and then sign him.

  31. I’d wait until the last second to cut him. It puts more pressure on him to give in. Besides he seems like he deserves it with that attitude. Milli Vanilli $8 manilli

  32. This has a big check from Steve Ross or Dan Snyder all over it. Ross wants to sell tickets and Dan is afraid he will lose the off season championship if he doesn’t bring the DC version of smash and dash to landover.

  33. Unfortunately, CJ was paid for what he did in the past – not the future. Which is usually how it goes. There isn’t really much incentive for a RB to put in that much effort, after his big contract. (pride, of course)

    1. his body will break down more and a future of painkillers is eminent

    2. He probably isn’t getting a 3rd contract (it won’t be for much, even if he does because of the mileage on his legs.

    at least that is my thought on it

  34. NFL is not a team sport anymore.
    If CJ cared about The Titans he’d take the pay cut and accept a positional role.. This is exactly what will happen when he’s released – so why not offer this to the organization that gave you all the money to begin with?

  35. Now that the saints released Sproles, maybe they’d use CJ.. could fit that mold quite well I’d think (if he could keep his attitude in check that is!)

  36. One of the most overrated running backs ever. He’s a speed back who played behind a dominant offensive line early in his career. When it came time to pay the guys in the trenches or the flash guy, they paid the flash guy, the rest is history.

  37. Depending on what happens with Sproles and the price tag, New Orleans might make a run and it seems like a good fit.

    No thanks

  38. The Titans have put themselves in a tough spot. Truth is, if they really wanted to get rid of CJ, they would have already done it. The fact is, looking closes at the situation, it makes absolutely ZERO sense to cut him. His money isn’t gonna prevent them from signing any FAs. Heck, they’re not gonna try and re-sign their best FA in Verner. And if you look at the FA RB class. CJ is the best. So you cut CJ to save 6m, and sign another one at half that. CJ still has 4m in dead money. So you only save a million bucks by cutting him. And you’d be doing so for an inferior player.

    The fact remains, the Titans allowed this thing to fester in the media. And they basically allowed Titans fans and media to turn CJ into the scapegoat for the the situation they’re in as a franchise. And like I said, the smart move is keeping him. But if you do so, the fanbase will be furious because “cJ’s the reason we’re bad.”

    The outluck doesn’t look good. They’re gonna have to get rid of CJ to prevent a. PR nightmare. Then you’re gonna have to either sign a lesser vet. Hope you hit a HR in the draft. Or, depend on Shonn Greene and Jackie Battle. But as stupid as Titans fans are. They’d be happier if Greene was the starter and got 600-700yds than they’d be if CJ came back and won the rushing title. They want CJ gone that bad. Its the VY thing all over again. Locker isn’t half as good as VY. But as long as VY is gone, they’re happy. The Titans may have the stupidest fanbase in the NFL.

  39. If we can trust Twitter, Chris Johnson just added Jerry Jones as a follower, and we all know how active CJ is on Twitter!

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