CJ outlines contract wishes in television interview

Monday, June 21, 2010 at 4:57pm
Staff reports

Chris Johnson ultimately wants $30-40 million guaranteed in a new contract. For now, he wants to hear something from the Tennessee Titans.

The running back spelled out his desires in an interview with ESPN, which aired Monday.

“Anywhere that’s between $30-40 [million] guaranteed,” he said.

Johnson has been absent from all Titans’ offseason training sessions, including organized team activities (OTAs), the last of which were scheduled to take place this week (Tuesday, Thursday, Friday). He has completed two years of the five-year contract he signed as a rookie in 2008. That deal included $7 million in guaranteed money but stipulated a base salary of $550,000 for the coming season.

A rule currently in effect because the NFL and its Players’ Association are in the final year of a collective bargaining agreement stipulates that a player’s salary in 2010 cannot be over 30 percent more than the player’s 2009 salary, but that rule includes stipulations for bonuses and other money as well.

According to SalaryCap101.com, Johnson could get a deal similar to the one San Francisco linebacker Patrick Willis recently signed (five years, $50 million, $29 million guaranteed).

“I want to be the highest paid running back in the league,” Johnson said. “ … I want to be one of the highest paid offensive players – period.”

Johnson reportedly has said that he is willing to hold out of training camp, which opens July 31.

He indicated, though, that his greatest frustration comes not from his current deal but from the lack of negotiations – thus far, at least – on a new one.

“All the other guys who are going through contract scenarios right now, at least their teams are offering them something,” he said. “Tennessee’s not even offering anything.”

10 Comments on this post:

By: gid on 6/22/10 at 6:31

I hope the Titans do not cave in and pay him more. He signed a contact for 7m & 550k a year + incintives.
Shut up and play.

By: junglejim on 6/22/10 at 7:15

somebody explain to these dumb ass people that when you sign a CONTRACT it spells out what you get. The titans created this problem by giving him the ball to run it where he could break a record and now they have to deal with it. I say cut him loose along with his big brother Vince and find someone who want to be a team player....my gosh.

By: conservarage on 6/22/10 at 7:28

why is athletes aren't expected to abide by contracts, yet all the rest of us are? if we break a contract, we end up in court.

By: jwk6179 on 6/22/10 at 7:49

Let's say the Titans give in and sign him to a new contract worth as much as he is asking for and he then suufers an injury of some type (torn ACL, broken foot or ankle, et al) that basically ends his season during Pre-Season or early in the season. Is he going tt tell the Titans that he doesn't deserve the money he was suppose to make this year and tell the team not to pay him and to use it to sign his replacement? HELL NO, he won't. He signed a contract for $550K this year and he should abided by it!!!

By: JoeArtist on 6/22/10 at 7:54

I don't care how good a player THINKS he is, when he is in VIOLATION of his existing contract and states that he wants to make “Anywhere that’s between $30-40 [million] GUARANTEED”, management should NOT NEGOTIATE with extortionists & set precedent with the team. He signed a 5 year contract that has 3 years left on it. Whatever happened to, "I want to be the best player in the league" or "I want to break "Such & Such Record" or "I want to help the TEAM win a Superbowl". No, we get, “I want to be the highest paid running back in the league,” “ … I want to be one of the highest paid offensive players – period.” In other words "I want to violate my contract & hold out for MO' MONEY, MO' MONEY, MO' MONEY!" Players who ONLY perform for money don't amount to ANYTHING. Don't let the door hit your backside on the way out CJ! :-P

By: wasaw on 6/22/10 at 9:04

Isn't it ironic that mr. johnson (small letters intended) really thinks he did it ALL by himself. I missed the plays where he gained any yardage ALL BY HIMSELF. I would swear that I observed a center, two guards, two tackles, and a tight end or a wide receiver in on the plays he so successfully ran. Now mr. johnson (again, small letters intended), if you're willing to get back in there, by yourself, and recreate those same numbers, I'll jump right in and support your efforts to clean out the bank, but until then, how about keeping your end of the bargain and DO YOUR JOB. You are so typical of the present day athlete. You think the world revolves around you. mr. johnson (again, small letters intended), life will go on without you in the Titans camp.

Give albert (haynesworth) a call and ask him how he likes the change? You have lost a lot of the fans support. I'm sure your agent and yourself can care less but best of luck to you upon your return. I can't wait till one of your offensive linemen takes a knee and gives you an opportunity to show what you can do ALL BY YOURSELF, against that big, fast NFL linebacker. Again, good luck to you mr. johnson (again, small letters intended).

By: fdanshep on 6/22/10 at 10:29

I am paying good money for two seats in the lower bowl and I want the best product that is available on the field. But.... I hope the Titans stick to their guns because we know that CJ's money will be passed on the the hard working folks buying the tickets , most of which will never see in a life time of work even a fraction of the money he is demanding.

By: not_guilty on 6/22/10 at 11:09

Unfortunately for Mr. Johnson, he is without much leverage with Mr. Adams. He cannot sell his services to another team while under contract. His options are to play for the specified amount or to sit out the season. (Although I suppose he could take a cue from Pac-child and pick up some money as a professional rassler.)

The Titans organization takes in the same amount of money whether Mr. Johnson plays or sits out, and it pays out less if he sits. Every seat in the stadium has sold for every game since the stadium was built. Who starts at tailback does not affect how much a fan spends on hot dogs or soft drinks. Nor does it affect the split of television revenue.

What does Mr. Johnson gain from sitting out? (Other than an enhanced reputation as a self-absorbed prima donna)

By: vision on 6/22/10 at 1:24

I say pay him, his contract is not guaranteed - if he suffers an injury of some type (torn ACL, broken foot or ankle, ect) they can cut him. He is their work horse, he runs more than the QB throws most games.

The Titans organization takes in the same amount of money whether Mr. Johnson plays or sits out - not true.
Who wants to see a team loose every week. They were 8-8 last year. No games on TV in most of the country with out CJ, you can forget any playoff games without him in 2011. And how do you sell tickets to a game when your team has no chance of winning most games.

With that being said, he should go to the camps and just play out his contract. And in 3 years leave the team.

By: FAMUAce on 6/22/10 at 3:29

Some of you folks apparently don't follow the NFL very closely. Contracts in the NFL ARE NOT GUARANTEED! Teams can cut a player at anytime without cause. However, players are locked into their contracts, but teams are not. While I understand both sides, I tend to agree with CJ on this one. The Titans have established a pattern of not treating veteran players with respect as it relates to paying them. Does Keith Bulluck ring a bell? How about Randall Godfrey? And we can't forget about the team barring Steve McNair from the facility so they wouldn't have to pay him money he was CONTRACTUALLY entitled to receive. So, folks can miss me with the play out your contract talk when it is clear he has outperformed his salary level. Wouldn't you want an increase in pay if you beat your projected output (i.s. sales, units built) by 300-400%? I wonder if there would be any of this backlash if Peyton Manning was in this situation? He definitely wouldn't be where he is if it wasn't for his receivers catching the ball, line protecting him, running backs carrying out their play action fakes (which set up at least 80% of their passing game), and refs not calling the obvious holding calls. And I doubt he would rearrange his contract to accommodate paying Reggie Wayne.