Chris Johnson setting stage for another Steve McNair situation

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During the league meetings in Orlando, Titans G.M. Ruston Webster told Pro Football Talk on NBCSN that, to date, running back Chris Johnson hasn’t been applying any pressure to the team to trade or cut the six-year veteran.

Webster may be amending his answer in light of Johnson’s more recent remarks.

Johnson said this week that he’ll show up for the start of offseason workouts, which due to the presence of a new coaching staff will begin on April 7.  If/when Johnson arrives, the Titans will have to decide whether to let him participate.

If Johnson participates, he could drop a dumbbell on his foot or otherwise suffer a season-ending injury that would put the Titans on the hook for his full $8 million base salary.

And that could make the Titans tempted to block Johnson from entering the building.

The only problem?  The Titans tried this before.  In 2006.  With Steve McNair.  And it didn’t work.

With McNair carrying a big salary and cap number and the Titans trying to trade him, McNair tried to force the issue by showing up for offseason workouts.  The Titans locked him out, McNair filed a grievance, and McNair won.

Of course, that doesn’t stop the Titans from trying to do it again, which could buy them a little more time while the grievance process unfolds.  Then, once Johnson secures the ability to enter the building, the Titans would have to make a move.

Still, the fact that the issue already has been resolved in favor of the player should allow Johnson to secure the ability to show up without having to go through the motions of filing a grievance.

Regardless of how it all plays out, a potential showdown is only 10 days away, barring a trade or a release of Johnson before then.

28 responses to “Chris Johnson setting stage for another Steve McNair situation

  1. And who was the first person on the Internet to denounce the big signing when they made it? This guy. And who has complained every day about how they didn’t trade him ASAP to get out of that deal and pick up something for the future while unloading that liability onto another team? You all should be able to crack the code to get that answer.

  2. This may be the worst headline I’ve ever read. Unfortunately, this isn’t the situation with Steve McNair that first comes to mind.

  3. Chris Johnson still has talent. The talent around him is not the best. Send him to an organization like the Giants or Pittsburgh and watch him shine again.

  4. This whole deal became toxic when the Titans gave this man $53million. He was asked on Munchacks TV show “what he planned to do for a career after his playing days were over” he replied with a smirk “I’ll be counting money baby”. I heard that and I knew the TITANS WERE SCREWED. That money made him a ME player. The titans should have known at that point to plan to get something for him sooner than later.
    So they should attempt to lock him out .I hope they can trade b4 that. Any draft pick is better than nothing. But he would have to take less money. Ooops less to count!!

  5. The fans were behind Steve, we still love him.

    Not so with CJ. He may win a grievance but not the PR. The fans know what’s going on.

    Other teams see this too, CJ. We know that you want to go to another afc south team to stick it to the Titans.

  6. I would think if an arbitrator had already issued a cease and desist order against the team once before that if the Titans did it again the NFLPA would be able to go after corrective remedies for violating a prior cease and desist order. They certainly should try but I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a case where a team has done the same wrong thing twice after they lost a grievance.

  7. Of course the obvious difference is Steve McNair was beloved in Nashville when he departed. It was brutal seeing him lead the Ravens to a 13 and 3 season (including 3 of the best clutch game-winning drives of his career). And Chris Johnson? Nashvillians want to run him out of town.

  8. This kid better thank his lucky stars for football….assuming he’s not already broke. Isn’t he functionally illiterate. I heard his coaches at ECU just pointed where he needed to run b/c he couldn’t either read or comprehend the playbook. Sad.

  9. I am a Titans fan, but it is time to let CJ go. The guy has talent still, but he complains too much when things don’t go his way. He costs the team way too much money for the production they have gotten the last few years. This is one of those cases where a change of scenery would probably do him some good.

  10. Obviously the titans want to be terrible. They already released their best defensive player (verner). So go ahead and release your best offensive player. Maybe they’ll save some money, that way they can give Hurt Locker some more. Prepare for a 0-16 season.

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