Hefty 2013 pricetag does not change CJ's standing with Titans

Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 8:35pm

Almost two years ago the Tennessee Titans gave themselves the opportunity to walk away this week, but they ultimately decided that Chris Johnson once again will be their running back.

Coach Mike Munchak confirmed Thursday afternoon that the team would not release Johnson before Friday.

Such a move could have saved the Titans significant money. The contract Johnson signed following a 2011 training camp holdout calls for him to earn $10 million this season, $9 million of which is guaranteed if he is on the roster Friday.

The Titans also planned to stick with safety Michael Griffin, who is guaranteed his $3.5 million base salary and a $1 million bonus by virtue of the fact that he is on the roster as of Friday.

“I talked to CJ [Wednesday] briefly, saw how he was doing, making sure there was no misunderstanding about what was going on,” Munchak said. “He was fine. We were good. And he’s enjoying his offseason.

“… Obviously, we honored [his contract] last year an we’ll honor it this year.”

Johnson’s production has dipped in the two seasons since Munchak replaced Fisher as head coach. He rushed for 1,243 yards last season after a career-worst 1,047 in 2011. He averaged more than 11 rushing touchdowns through his first three NFL seasons but scored a total of 10 in the last two years.

Speculation about his future with the team peaked early last fall when he rushed for fewer than 25 yards in four of the Titans’ first five games. He ran for 90 or more each of the next five weeks and ultimately extended his NFL record for touchdown runs of 80 yards or more with three.

According to Munchak, Johnson, one of eight players in league history to rush for 1,000 yards or more in each of his first five seasons, has been a constant in the team’s postseason planning.

“We discuss everything,” Munchak said. “It wasn’t a topic of concern. But … we cover everything. We talk about every possibility, just like everybody does. Even about trading people — we talk about it all the time just to see what options are out there.

“In this case, you’re aware of what your salary cap issues are and where your money is going and those types of things. But there was never any talk that we weren’t going to honor it or cut CJ.”

8 Comments on this post:

By: Jughead on 2/8/13 at 10:24

A waste. But, the entire Titans organization is a waste.

By: dargent7 on 2/8/13 at 1:17

This is the best and the brightest the Titans have to offer?
Didn't he extort $53. million 2 years ago?
Then averages 4 yds per carry.
A complete waste. Just like Young was. Where's he now?
The Eagles canned his sorry as**.

By: courier37027 on 2/8/13 at 7:44

Punishment fits the crime: Johnson held out for more money. He should be made to suffer with this dismal team.

By: TITAN1 on 2/9/13 at 2:08

Glad you are still a Titan, CJ!

By: 4gold on 2/9/13 at 7:58

Big bucks for a VERY ordinary running back. The explosive gait is gone. Why can't they see that? Another Titan move to keep them off the map. More of the same year after year after year. So tired on being a non factor.

Go Dores, Preds, Titans! Go Nashville a great place to live!

By: 4gold on 2/9/13 at 8:00

Big bucks for a VERY ordinary running back. The explosive gait is gone. Why can't they see that? Another Titan move to keep them off the map. More of the same year after year after year. So tired on being a non factor.
OMG, Michael Griffin again too? This is just a good ole boys club and has nothing to do with putting a football team together. MJ couldnt hang with any team in the league much less at that price.

Go Dores, Preds, Titans! Go Nashville a great place to live!

By: TITAN1 on 2/10/13 at 7:34

4gold cracks me up! His sig says "Go Dores, Preds, Titans! Go Nashville a great place to live!" Yet, all he does is trash all three of his "favorite" teams. Many positives with all three, but like some others here, thrives to dwell on what he considers a negative. When you are so negative all the time, you are just begging for a miserable day. As for me, I'm going to make this day the Lord has made, a great day!

By: courier37027 on 2/11/13 at 12:38

TITAN1, I don't think the Almighty could make this team better than 6-10.