Saturday, August 20, 2011, 5:48pm
At least the odds of Johnson getting hurt in the preseason are pretty slim. Johnson's value will slide closer to the start of the season if this impasse continues to linger.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011, 12:41pm
Chris Johnson sits with two years remaining on his contract at salaries of $800,000 and $2 million. Last year, knowing this problem was brewing but unable to reward Johnson with a top of market contract due to the 30% rule – explained here – the Titans bumped Johnson up by $1.5 million. That temporary band-aid has fallen off, with the Titans probably thinking, “no good deed goes unpunished.”
Johnson's camp wants to move this negotiation away from a discussion of top running back contracts to top overall player contracts.
In researching top running back deals, the high end of the market has truly stagnated and lags behind other positions. This is why the Johnson negotiation is so difficult and potentially game changing.
Johnson's stock is falling a bit, but he's still going in the top 6 picks in most formats. The worry isn't necessarily that the holdout will last into the season, but the conventional wisdom with situations like this is that players that holdout aren't in game shape and are more likely to miss time with injury.
Monday, August 15, 2011, 4:35pm
While the Titans publicly stated they are willing to make Johnson the highest-paid running back in the NFL, those close to Johnson believe he should be paid as one of the top playmakers in the league -- not just for running backs, sources familiar with the situation told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
To date, the Titans have not made any offers to Johnson. Until the Titans can find a way to appease Johnson, the Pro Bowl running back is not expected to report back to the team, which sets up the possibility for a prolonged holdout.
There is still time for this to get settled, but Johnson has clearly drawn the line in the sand. Those planning to protect Johnson in their keeper league should perhaps at least think about an alternate plan.
Matt Hasselbeck started for Tennessee, and the veteran signed to a three-year contract to mentor Locker and make the Titans competitive this season looked sharp in his lone series. He completed 5 of 6 passes for 55 yards in an opening drive marred by a botched handoff leading to a 30-yard loss.
Donovan McNabb made his first start for Minnesota, and completed four of his first five passes before having the sixth knocked down by rookie linebacker Akeem Ayers. McNabb came back for a second series before leaving the game 6 of 11 for 40 yards.
Locker, the eighth pick overall from Washington, had his moment, too. He dropped the ball off the snap before picking it up, rolling to his right and throwing a perfect pass to Yamon Figurs for a TD. Locker played one series into the third quarter, and he was 7 of 10 for 89 yards with a passer rating of 130.8.
Locker and Hasselbeck won't have much stand-alone value this season, but Locker is a good prospect in keeper leagues and solid quarterback play will help Chris Johnson (if he ever shows up) and Kenny Britt.
The Tennessee Titans are ready to make Chris Johnson the highest-paid running back in NFL history. The general manager says they just need Johnson to show up in training camp to finalize that extension.
General manager Mike Reinfeldt told The Associated Press on Thursday that Johnson's agent was the first person they called once the NFL's lockout was lifted. The Titans reworked Johnson's contract a year ago to give him more money in 2010 and promised to talk to him again a year later.
But the Titans want Johnson in training camp before negotiating that deal.
"Even though he has two years left on his contract, we'd like him to go in," Reinfeldt said. "He could go to meetings, get to know the new coaches, he can learn the scheme. He doesn't have to practice, but it's something we want to get done.
"Again, we're willing to make him the highest paid running back in the history of the NFL. That's kind of where we are."
The Titans are bound to get something done with CJ2K -- we shudder to think what the Tennessee offense would look like without him in the lineup. As long as Johnson is holding out, it's a good time to try to get him (in auctions or via trade) at a discount. He's a top 5 RB, plain and simple.
This situation is getting serious. We'll keep you posted with latest news!
Saturday, August 6, 2011, 8:14pm
The Tennessee Titans continue to maintain a stance that they won’t negotiate a new contract for running back Chris Johnson until he arrives at camp. Does that mean he would need to practice without a new deal – possibly injuring himself and hurting his value in the process?
Titans general manager Mike Reinfeldt on Saturday sounded open to the possibility of working on a new deal even if Johnson just shows up, meaning he wouldn’t necessarily have to hit the practice field without a new deal.
"We’ve asked him to come in. He has a contract," Reinfeldt said of Johnson, who’s scheduled to make just over $1 million this year. "As far as practicing, that’s something we can work out. It’s important to be here and attend the meetings. We’re not asking to put him in harm’s way either. There’s a subtlety there that’s part of it."
Reinfeldt said the Johnson camp hasn’t agreed at this point: "They’re just not sure they want to do that at this point in time."
Saturday, August 6, 2011, 6:07pm
Most fantasy owners are far more interested in seeing Chris Johnson return to camp than Cortland Finnegan, but the Finnegan story is worth following as Tennessee's defense would be a better matchup for opposing receivers if for some reason he's not around when the season starts.
Barber compiled 4,368 rushing yards and 47 touchdowns in six seasons with the Cowboys.
The signing of Barber could be bad news for Chester Taylor making the team. It also could dip into Matt Forte's production a bit more as well. We have Forte ranked ninth among RBs with an ADP of the second round. Outside of a few running backs like Adrian Peterson and Chris Johnson, it looks like NFL teams having two, solid RBs is going to be a fantasy fact of life...
Sunday, July 31, 2011, 9:21pm
But he won’t be holding out.
The Texans have announced that Foster, an exclusive-rights free agent (i.e., not a free agent), signed his one-year tender for the third-year minimum, which under the new labor deal has increased to $525,000.
Foster previously has said he’s not worried about the situation, and that he believes the team will take care of him.
Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson plans to report to training camp in Mankato, Minnesota on Sunday, despite the fact he is entering the last season of his contract. Peterson had a staggering cap number of $12.775 million for this season, meaning it would be in the Vikings' and Peterson's best interest to extend his contract.
"We want to be able to make sure that we get Adrian secured at some point," Minnesota head coach Leslie Frazier said. "We're not at that point right now. We've got some things we're trying to take care of. But Adrian is a priority. A major priority for us."
With Chris Johnson and Frank Gore not showing up at their respective camps, it's good to see that Peterson plans on arriving despite contract uncertainty.
News broke Tuesday that the Seattle Seahawks wouldn't re-sign the 35-year-old Hasselbeck. Instead, the Seahawks agreed to a deal with former Minnesota Viking Tarvaris Jackson, multiple sources told ESPN.
It turns out brother Tim Hasselbeck knew what he was talking about when he began dropping rumors of Matt to the Titans last week. Matt Hasselbeck fills a void at QB for the Titans ahead of rookie Jake Locker. Expect Hasselbeck to start for the majority of the year, at least as long as the Titans are competitive. The signing is good news for Kenny Britt and Chris Johnson and also a good landing spot for Hasselbeck himself, although don't consider him any more than a low end QB2 for fantasy purposes.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011, 3:00pm
The Titans have long been interested in Hasselbeck. General Manager Mike Reinfeldt and Vice President of Player Personnel Ruston Webster both know him from their days in Seattle. Even Jake Locker has a relationship with him.
Chris Johnson owners should keep a close eye on Tennessee's QB situation during free agency. Hasselbeck would keep defenses honest, and that would only help CJ2K's productivity.
Friday, June 17, 2011, 3:25pm
He’s carried the ball 674 times over the past two seasons, more than any other back in the NFL during that time. So it’s natural to wonder whether running back Chris Johnson may have become worn out at times last season, especially with the increased attention defenses were placing on him following the 2,000-yard season of 2009.
New Titans offensive coordinator Chris Palmer acknowledges he’ll keep an eye on the situation. But he also noted that Johnson kept his weight steady last season and that he was second in the league with 41 broken tackles – which could be interepreted as two signs that overuse was not a big problem.
Pro Bowl running back Chris Johnson said there is no doubt in his mind that rookie QB Jake Locker will be the starter from Day 1, citing his draft status as evidence. That wasn't the case with Young, who was taken third overall in 2006 and weaned into action as a rookie.
Of course, everything depends on how quickly Locker learns. When it came other successful rookie quarterbacks, we spent all offseason hearing that they wouldn't get a shot to start until they were ready. At the same time, everyone close to the action -- especially coaches and players -- knew the rookies were going to open the season under center.
Titans players said Locker has some command of the offense. He set players in the correct spots at the line of scrimmage and expressed a command of the huddle that caught players' attention. Cornerback Cortland Finnegan already coined him the "Face of The Franchise."
While it's a good quote from Chris Johnson, the Titans have said they have every intention of bringing in a veteran QB to start in 2011.