By Josh Kramer
The Tennessee Titans are on edge. The state of Tennessee is on edge. And most of all, Fantasy Football owners are on edge. The Chris Johnson lockout continues as teams get ready for Week 3 of preseason football. And sure, arguably the best running back in the game today, or at least the most explosive, will more than likely be suited up for the opener in Jacksonville on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
But what if CJ does not sign in the near future? What if Mike Reinfeldt (Titans GM) and Chris Johnson cannot come to an agreement? Opening night is less than three weeks away. There were no OTA’s this year due to the lockout. There was no extra reps for the majority of the guys. Training camp and preseason games are of more importance this year than they have ever been. Not to mention Tennessee will have a new quarterback under center this year (Matt Hasselbeck).
Well Chris Johnson is not taking part in any of it. CJ has been hanging out with Mickey Mouse in Orlando. Ray Lewis (Week 2), James Harrison (Week 5), and others are not going to kiss and tuck Chris Johnson into bed when they meet him on the field. Though they may put him to bed. Guns don’t kill people, but James Harrison could with some of his vicious hits. NFL Sundays are no fairy tale. There is a reason why the average career of an NFL RB is the least out of any position in the League (2.57 years).
Collisions take a toll. And I understand where both sides are coming from in this current conflict. Tennessee does not want to clean out house to keep just one guy. They realize that running backs frequently get hurt and investing a large chunk of money in a running back is always a risk. In addition, the NFL is truly a team game and one guy cannot single-handedly take a team to the playoffs no matter how good he is. On the other hand, Chris Johnson wants to make sure he is secure with his guarantees, realizing that he could get injured on any play. And let’s be honest. Johnson is vastly underpaid at this time. The former East Carolina star has scored 28 TDs the past two years and rushed for nearly 3,500 yards. I feel like that type of performance garners more than a million dollar salary this year. Remember, Adrian Peterson makes over 10 million a year in base salary regardless if he said that the former labor situation between owners and players was akin to modern-day slavery back in March.
In the words of Rod Tidwell from the famous film Jerry Maguire, show Chris Johnson the money. Give him a four-year deal for 48 million, with 25 million guaranteed, and move on. Johnson deserves every cent of that contract. And with each passing day, his likelihood of hitting 2,000 yards rushing, like he did in 2009, becomes less and less likely. And in a division that has both Indianapolis (9 straight playoff appearances) and the Houston Texans, Tennessee needs all of the help they can get to have a prayer at playoff football.
Plus fantasy owners across the country have no idea what to do. So even many Texans, Colts, and Jaguars fans are praying that Titan’s ownership shows Chris Johnson the money.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.