Reinfeldt says little, if any, progress made in talks with CJ

Wednesday, August 24, 2011 at 3:02pm

Contract talks with Chris Johnson are not finished. Neither is Johnson’s holdout.

An afternoon meeting between Tennessee Titans officials, the running back and his agent, Joel Segal, produced little movement in the impasse, which has led Johnson to stay away from the team since the start of training camp, other than to send the parties on their respective ways.

“It was important for us to have a face-to-face meeting so that everyone could have a voice and understand the perspective of the other side,” general manager Mike Reinfeldt said in a statement issued through the team. “I’m not sure there was any progress made, but I do think it was beneficial to meet.

“We were able to discuss several different elements of a potential contract, but there was no agreement on those topics.”

Reinfeldt added that he expected to discuss the matter with Segal again within the next couple days.

The meeting took place away from the team’s training facility and Johnson never was on hand to see teammates or coaches.

“I think when someone comes into town you are at least heading in the right direction,” coach Mike Munchak said. “What happens when they come in I don’t know, but at least it’s good that [Johnson] did come in and hopefully that’s a good sign.

“I know he wants to get this thing resolved and know he wants to play this year and I don’t think he wants to take the chance of missing games early so you hope his thinking is that same as ours and not to just be here but help us win the Jacksonville game.”

The Titans open the regular season Sept. 11 at Jacksonville. They have two remaining preseason games in the next eight days – Saturday against Chicago and Sept. 1 at New Orleans.

“His not being here doesn’t affect anything as far as our preparation for Jacksonville or the Ravens [Sept. 18 at LP Field] and so on,” Munchak said. “The positive is the other guys get a lot of reps and you hope they improve quite a bit so if they do have to play early in the season these guys are ready to help us.

“For [Johnson’s] part, it’s not something that you can just plug in on a Friday and think he is going to play at his best on Sunday. I’m sure he could do some good things in a short period of time because he is a special type of player, but for us to think he is going to touch the ball 30-plus times if he is not here, its highly likely he would be able to do that and do it well without having injury issues.”

Johnson has been to the Pro Bowl in each of his three NFL seasons and his 4,598 rushing yards are the most in the NFL over that period. In addition to having led the team in rushing each of the last three years he also has been the Titans’ leader in receptions each of the last two.

He holds the franchise records for rushing yards in a game (228 on Nov. 1, 2009) and in a season (2,006 in 2009). He also is one of three players in team history (Earl Campbell and Warren Moon are the others) to be named NFL offensive player of the year.

“He’s been here longer than I’ve been here, so his transition coming in will probably be easier than mine,” quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said. “I’m sure it’s not going to be an issue. It’s something the coaches worry about more than [players] anyway.

“We’ll just do the best we can with what we’ve got.”


11 Comments on this post:

By: JohnGalt on 8/24/11 at 1:18

Invite Johnson to return home and pick oranges for a year.

By: GreenHillsBoy on 8/24/11 at 1:41

As a PSL owner from day one and season ticket holder since the days at Vanderbilt, I don't think the Titans or the NFL in general have any idea how this type of publicity is impacting the general public's interest. While the NFL may feel that they are immune to the fans turning their back on the sport, the whole millionaire vs. billionaire is becoming a real turn off. When you add the constant reports of arrests, the widespread cheating in college athletics, the general public is really being turned off. At some near point, perhaps this year with the Titans, the public is going to start speaking with their pocket book by not buying tickets or staying away. Baseball has not recovered and the NBA may be doomed, the NFL will be the last, but will soon see how sick people are of the money, the antics, etc.

By: grassyknoll on 8/24/11 at 2:50

Agree with GHBoy above. I think the NFL is the next financial bubble, and quite possibly the "short sale" of the century. Indeed, people are sick of watching and listening to the antics of overpaid thugs and the self-absorbed "I gots to get mine mentality." Unfortunately, they get all of the headlines and press coverage. There is already a groundswell of NFL fan backlash building, and not just with the Titans.
Have to admire the "character counts" mentality of new coach Munchak. They already made one great statement by bitch slapping Cortland. Next statement- wrap CJ and Kenny B in a package and trade for some good draft choices.

By: serr8d on 8/24/11 at 7:00

Just from the good things we've seen in preseason, we already have a solid replacement corps of running backs: Stephan Johnson, Jamie Harper, and (healing) Jevon Ringer. If CJ thinks he's going to get a $120 million contract with $50 million guaranteed money (Larry Fitzgerald's recent eye-popping deal) he's gotta be smoking something he's not sharing.

Pay him $65-75 million with $18.8 million or so guaranteed, signing for 5 years. That's plenty enough; by the time he's 30, he'll be done. He wants $39 million for 3 years, guaranteed? I don't think Bud Adams will allow that to happen.

Bud showed Vince Young the door; VY was his personal pet. If Bud can do that to VY, he won't hesitate in allowing CJ to sit and pout for the rest of this season. That's a year's worth of stats that won't make the books, CJ.

By: tn.native on 8/24/11 at 10:48

CJ has already dropped $400,000 from the $30,000 per day fines that keep building. His agent must think he knows something to be encouraging CJ to keep holding out. Layoffs are never good, especially with so much "new" to this team, the playbook changes and the rest. It looks like CJ thinks he can do what he wants with MM but I think he has already done damage and I'm sure Adams does not want to have this kind of dynamic going on with a new coaching staff and a new level of discipline shaping up. It seems that MM understands what it means to be a professional. When the player is on the field or off, he should be a professional. Does he not get that there's big money in sponsorships? This is not the way to do that.

By: fdanshep on 8/25/11 at 5:54

Yes, there is big money in sponsorships. How he got the Freeland Chevrolet endorsement deal I'll never know. He can always endorse hoodies and maybe some "grills" for a local dentist. Chris Johnson has done nothing to endear him to mainstream Titans fans other than carry a football very well at times.

By: BenDover on 8/25/11 at 7:49

I'll say it again... if you can't count on him on 3rd and 1 what good is he?

By: RTungsten on 8/25/11 at 7:54

Pay me $75mil and I'll run the ball EVERY play. Odds are, I'd break one and scamper for 20+ yards every now and then.

By: jcdad2003 on 8/25/11 at 8:56


Look at the Steelers everybody on that team understands their role and they follow it well. They have been to the big game a few times with the core of players they have, with the understanding they are part of a team. I would even go as far to say Ben is not the best QB to put on the black and gold, in all honesty he reminds me of that mediocre QB of the 70's who was surrounded by great talent, but they still played as a team. That 70's team won 4 Super Bowls.

SEND C.J. home, don't even trade him. He needs to set out the whole season.

By: d4deli on 8/25/11 at 1:44

I have read all of the above comments, and I want to thank everyone for some well worded and well thought out comments. You have stated important facts and opinions, and I agree, we don't need someone like C.J. telling us how to run the show. Move along---let's play ball!

By: Magnum on 8/25/11 at 2:11

I don't think Johnson would appreciate someone making jokes about his age. Madonna is much older than he.