The Tennessee Titans hosted their star holdout on Wednesday as they look to come to some agreement before the start of the 2011 season. No deal was reached but it is being reported that the meeting was positive.
"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," Tennessee general manager Mike Reinfeldt said in a statement released by 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."
Johnson, who is due to earn $1.065 million for 2011 after Tennessee revised his contract a year ago to get him more money, is adamant in his desire to be one of the highest paid players in the NFL. According to sources reported by ESPN, Johnson is seeking a deal that would pay him $39 million in the first three years, a $13 million average. That would place him above all running backs and put him in the elite status he is looking for.
At 5-11, 200 lbs, Johnson has played far above his height in his first three seasons. His 4,598 yards rushing yards ranks only behind Erick Dickerson, Earl Campbell and Jamaal Lewis for a back in their first three years.
"CJ's the best back in the game," fullback Ahmard Hall said. "He makes everybody's job that much more easier. You go out there, you just have to get in front of your guy, get a good connection with your guy, and he's gone. Everybody's seen it around the nation."
Running back is a tricky position in the NFL. There is so much wear and tear on a runners body that a back could be great one season and just be done for the rest of their career. You just never know when a backs number is up which leads to the uncertainty of long term, high money contracts. In Johnson's case, he may have a longer shelf life because of his running style that avoids the big hit but honestly, you just never know.
One thing can be said for certain, based on past production, Johnson is due a big, fat raise. Whether or not it deserves to be in the $13 mil a year range is someone else's decision, not mine.
The Titans are in a pickle on this one. They need their star back in camp to start the season. So, it probably stands to reason that Johnson will get his money, it's only a matter of time.
Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS