Friday 21st March 2014,
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Update: Chris Johnson Unlikely To Be Back In Tennessee

Steven Haskos January 16, 2014 Titans 14 Comments

Update:

Jim Wyatt of the Nashville Tennessean mentions that Titans GM Ruston Webster was “non-committal” when asked about Chris Johnson‘s future with the team.

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.

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According to ESPN’s Ed Werder, new Tennessee Titans Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt is likely to seek an alternate option at the running back position during the offseason.

  • 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.

 

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  • sickoe47

    The raiders have the cap and money cj2k but don’t know about 10m more 3 mill 2 yrs

  • bbaaspencer1 .

    The bottom line is, he is not worth 10 million dollars a year! Not even 8 million or 5 million!

  • Fleetwood

    I agree w/ hnv12. If you consider Johnsons age and his production over the years I believe we can find a back that can hit the hole like Johnson used to (in his prime) and save about 4 million in cap space to be spent on other areas of need. To draft a hungry, speedy, durable back should not be too difficult to find. No matter where Johnson goes he will definitely have to take a pay cut.

  • hnv12

    Johnson is going to be 29 this year, doesn’t put in the work necessary in the offseason (it shows early in the season when he’s still working to get fit) and is a bad team player. It’s all about him and his stats. I wanted to see this clown gone before this season. He will have to take a pay cut whether he likes it or not.Titans need a work horse, not this diva.

  • Bryant Talmore

    Johnson is 1 of eight running backs 2 rush for 1000 yard’s every year their first six seasons. All the others all Hall Of Famers if the titans let him go it will be the worst move they have ever made

  • Tristian Shelley

    Espn does suck but this has been reported since like week 15. So wisenhunt has little to do with the report. And wisenhunt isnt as great as everyone thinks. Id be concerned as a titans fan because only when he had a qb did he have success (Kurt Warner). He didnt show an ability to develop any young QB’s either and after warner retired he was a joke for a head coach and his QB’s were worse than Clevelands or Jacksonvilles. Thats saying something. He had success this year but lets be real Rivers was always at the very least a borderline top 7 or 8 qb. We are talking 2 hall of fame QB’S he had but everyone else he had wasnt even average. But in his defense it is a weak division and even the colts are highly overrated especially Luck. Dude has twice as many interceptions in the postseason (10) than Td passes. And please stop with the reggie wayne excuses

    • Brandon Evans

      What team in this league has been able to develop Matt Leinert, Skelton, Kevin Kolb, Matt Hall, or Derek Anderson? Anderson had like 1 and maybe a half of a good year in the NFL. Sometimes you just get stuck with fluke QB’s! Look how long it took the panthers to recover from Delhome and the Jags are still looking! One thing about the Cardinals was while he was there they were competitive. Plus, they were the Cardinals maybe worst team in NFL history! And he took them to the super bowl with an old ass QB!

  • Brandon Evans

    Only Source That Matters Is The Had Coach Not These False Reporters.

    • NFL Trade Rumors

      I get your point.

    • Fleetwood

      Understand that what is going on right this minute is all speculation. You and I as true fans know the real deal because we are passionate about our team. So let the media do their thing and we as Titans Nation will do our due diligence to protect our team

      • Brandon Evans

        Just pisses me off when all these so called writers start talking about CJ gonna get cut and all this crazy talk, when we had not even hired a head coach yet. Why would a head coach come in and cut his highest paid offensive player without at least seeing what he has to offer? Now we have a head coach an offensive head coach at that so why would he want CJ? Because he makes a lot? Obviously he got that contract for a reason, and a real coach is gonna do his homework on the guy to find out why he hasn’t been producing like he used to, and while he’s researching he will see that CJ has not done as bad of a job as all the critics say he has. He will also see that if you go by Yards from scrimmage Cj has out done Frank Gore, and isn’t very far behind AD and Lynch. People keep talking about 3.9 yards per carry, who cares when it’s obvious that we have had a garbage coaching staff for the past three years that’s why they are all fired! CJ earned that contract and he shouldn’t want a cut in pay, but if it is necessary then I’m sure Whisenhut will sit down with him and they will figure out something. CJ said he wouldn’t take a cut with the other staff now we have a new Head Coach and will have new staff, that will possibly motivate CJ to get back to his old self along with the rest of this team. If anything CJ will get at least one year to prove his worth in a real system.

  • Fleetwood

    If there is a back worthy of the eleventh pick in the draft then of course pounce on it immediately. However, thousand yard backs are very hard to come by so I hope Wiz has a good choice in mind to make his offense productive. CJ has seen his best days as a Titan. It’s ashame that should he go elsewhere he would take less than half of what he would make w/ Tennessee and not renegotiate. Kind of a slap in the face if you ask me.

  • Brandon Evans

    Stop Making Up Stories! Whisenhut Said No Such Thing, He Hadn’t Even Took Time To Evaluate The Team Yet!

    • NFL Trade Rumors

      The post is based on Ed Werder’s source who believes the Titans are unlikely to keep Chris Johnson beyond this season. There have been other reports that Johnson is unlikely to be back as well, so it wouldn’t come as a huge shock, especially after he said that he has no intention of taking a pay cut.