Chris Johnson and Andre Johnson Would Like To Renegotiate Now

To have a young star athlete threatening to hold out is hardly a rare occurrence in the NFL, but to have two of the premiere skill players in the sport discussing the matter at once - while each has multiple years remaining on their contracts - is certainly noteworthy. And possibly indicative of how players feel about the prospect of an upcoming lockout. ↵

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↵Chris Johnson, the league's leading rusher for the Titans last season, has three years remaining on his five-year rookie contract. His salary for 2010 is set at. $550,000. At the outset of the offseason, Chris stated that he wanted to be the highest paid offensive player in the league. There are many who say he deserves it. One of them is the man whose single-season record for yard from scrimmage Chris broke last year: Marshall Faulk. Indeed, the player who compelled the Colts to deal him to the Rams because of a contract stalemate is advocating that Chris do the same. He's already decided to skip voluntary workouts, but coach Jeff Fisher said he remains confident that his starting back will be present at the start of training camp. ↵

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↵The case of Andre Johnson's contract drama, meanwhile, is more bizarre. Andre signed an eight-year, $60 million extension with the Texans in 2007, which is certainly not a small amount of money. But then the amount of guaranteed money pales in comparison to the likes seen in the four-year, $40 million contract that Larry Fitzgerald signed a year later. Of course, Andre has no one to blame but himself and his uncle, whom Andre had negotiate the deal. Now Andre's displeasure only adds to the Texans recent spate of off-field issues that started with Brian Cushing's suspension. ↵

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↵While convincing arguments can surely be made that Chris and Andre Johnson should command figures commensurate to the top earners at their respective position, the fact remains that each remains under contract for several more years. I'm not saying they are necessarily being dishonorable by not wanting to play out their contracts as originally written, because NFL teams have not been shy about abruptly terminating contracts over the years. Only I mean to say that the likelihood of their teams caving to their demands isn't the greatest at the moment. Naturally, the Titans would prefer to keep Chris at the bargain basement figure that they have him until it's known whether or not there will be a lockout in 2011. The last thing they want to do is heap money on a player, only for them to lose a season to lockout a year after the contract has been signed. ↵

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↵As for Andre, the Texans would place themselves in a highly compromised position to renegotiate a huge eight-year contract only three years in. While Andre's contributions on the field have been steady and spectacular, what he negotiated in 2007 was a fair deal according to the market. That another elite receiver got a more favorable one a year later shouldn't be a factor. If the Texans acquiesced, they would be looking at a roster full of players ready to renegotiate following a standout season, or as soon as a player near their production level on another team got a slightly better contract. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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