Titans running back Chris Johnson gave every one of his Twitter followers an update today with three consecutive posts on the site, all of which gave fans a very grim outlook (sic is implied throughout):
Just got off the phn w/ my agent & its not gd news I'm feeling lk @Revis24 [Darrelle Revis] rt now at least dey offering him something dey not offering me nothing. ... Its like how u expect ur players to give they all and put their bodies on the line when you not willing to give them what they deserve. ... How do u wnt player 2 honor their contract but the team dont have 2 honor it. If u dont wnt 2 pay a player early dont cut a player early.
Johnson made "only" $4.249 million last season. Obviously a huge bounty to any of us, but when you put together the kind of season Johnson did, it's hardly unexpected that he's looking for a bump. Plus, once a back puts a few of these seasons under his belt, that career cliff dive into obscurity can come at any time, so Johnson is smart to get his money while he can. He might not have stated it particularly eloquently, but he isn't without a point.
Take a quick glance at your calendar: it's only June 15. There is still plenty of time for this thing to play out. The looming lockout is the real variable in the situation: the Titans have little motivation to pay Johnson a fee if the market drops in the new CBA and frankly Johnson would be crazy to cost himself any money going into a potentially dormant year.
Fair or not, the Titans appear to have all of the leverage. Expect Johnson to continue to voice his frustration, but at some point someone will need to get into his ear and lay out the reality of the situation. If anything, this is probably good news for the Titans that Johnson spoke out. It gives people in Nashville something to talk about other than Vince Young strip club fights.
This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.