Will Chris Johnson be a Titan in '13?
Titans running back Chris Johnson has occasionally been the subject of trade rumors, and the one-time 2,000-yard rusher said he’d understand if the Titans moved him in the off-season. Not that he has made a request to be traded – he hasn’t – but Johnson has seen other big-time backs traded during the prime of their careers. Sounds like he wouldn't be surprised if he was next.
“I feel like all situations have a time where it has to come to an end,” Johnson said on a conference call today with Jets reporters in advance of Monday night’s game in Tennessee. “You look at a lot of good guys around the league, Eric Dickerson was traded, Marshall Faulk, a lot of top tier guys who are even Hall of Fame guys. If this is a situation where they feel like this whole thing has come to an end and they feel like a fresh start, I would wish them the best of luck and move on to the next journey. If it’s a situation where they want to keep me here, I would continue putting up numbers and trying to make us get to the playoffs.”
And if he is traded – or even released – in the off-season? (It's too late for a deal this year, since the trade deadline already passed.)
“If I was to get traded from here, it would be a situation where I wouldn’t embarrass Tennessee,” said Johnson, who is eighth in the NFL with 1,037 rushing yards. He has four touchdowns. “I wouldn’t talk bad about them, because I’m nothing without Tennessee. I rushed for 2,000 yards here, and I rushed for 2,000 yards here and continue to be the guy for my first five years in the league. They have done a lot for me and my career. I would never down talk Tennessee.”
Money will no doubt be an issue in whatever the Titans do with Johnson. Before the 2011 season, he signed a six-year, six-year, $55 million contract that included a $20 million signing bonus. He is due to make $10 million in 2013.
Johnson said he hasn’t considered other teams that might have a need at running back.
“No, not really,” he said. “I’m with Tennessee right now. I feel like if I was paying attention to that type of things, guys who are contenders and needed a running back, I wouldn’t be focused on my job at hand and my job at hand is trying to make Tennessee the best team possible.”
Johnson didn’t sound overly optimistic that the Titans have what it takes to be a contender in the immediate future.
“I think we have some players here who can get the job done,” he said. “I don’t want to say we need a whole new team, but there are situations where you have to speed up to what other teams are going.”