Thursday, December 26, 2013

Chris Johnson's Ego Could Find Him Unemployed Next Season

When Chris Johnson joined an elite club of running backs back in 2009, his sophomore season in the NFL, the football loving world thought it was witnessing the next great running back making a name for himself. Fast forward to the tail end of the 2013 season and he may be playing his last game in a Titans uniform; not because he's being traded or becoming a free agent. 

He just isn't worth the money anymore.


Since his remarkable '09 season he has been a good running back, but far from great. The 1364 yards he followed up his '09 campaign with wasn't bad, but the 1047 he had in '11 was unimpressive. He did rebound the following year with 1243, but here he is this season with less than 1000 and there is only one game left.

And the Titans are paying $10 million for that? Just one 100+ yard game all season? It's no wonder that the team is thinking of ditching the 28-year old running back.

That doesn't bother him though. He insists that he can still produce at a elite level and deserves to be paid accordingly. So if it comes down to take a cut or you are cut--he's willing to become a free agent.

“I don’t think I’ll be out of work long,” he said.

There is one thing he may be failing to consider. He is going to turn 29 next season. The age that running backs typically start to decline is 30. Should he get cut he is likely going to want another high dollar long term contract, but at his age, decline in production since '09, and the beating he admits to taking in Tennessee no one will be willing to go more than a couple years.

Since they know they can't count on him they are not going to pay him what he thinks he's worth either. He'll be lucky if he gets $8 million over 2-3 years; Tennessee is scheduled to pay him a base of $8 million next season. 

If he and his agent are smart they will turn a chunk of his base into incentive based pay next season otherwise the Titans are just take a running back with their first or second round pick in the draft.

And he will be left at home hoping someone gets hurt after the season starts so he can have some leverage in negotiations.

No comments:

Post a Comment