Wyatt believes this just another indication that the Titans are ready to move on without Johnson next season.
“In my opinion, it’s not a matter of if he’s released, but when,” Wyatt writes.
- Conversely, Werder notes that Whisenhunt does have a favorable opinion of QB Jake Locker. Whisenhunt’s assessment of Locker likely was a heavy factor in his decision to accept the Titans HC position.
Chris Johnson has been entrenched as the team’s feature back since being drafted in the first round out of East Carolina in the 2008 NFL Draft. Johnson rushed for a career low 3.9 yards per carry last season, and his 1,077 rushing yards topped only his 2011 season in which he gained 1,047 yards.
Johnson signed a six-year, $55.26 million dollar deal in 2011, which includes a lofty base salary of $10 million for the upcoming 2014 season. Parting ways with Johnson would free up $4 million in cap space, according to Overthecap.com.
Shonn Greene is the only other notable running back the Titans have under contract for next year. Greene is signed through the 2015 season. It is unlikely that the Titans will consider a running back worthy of the eleventh pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, but Whisenhunt wouldn’t rule out the possibility of taking a quarterback, per Jim Wyatt.