The Tennessee Titans have been one of the more active teams in free agency during the 2013 season and have done a good job, according to Chris Johnson, although he wasn't a big fan of the team's decision to sign former New York Jets running back Shonn Greene to a three-year, $10 million deal.
Johnson told Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean on Wednesday that the size of Greene's contract doesn't really match the small role he should have in a backfield that Johnson has dominated for the past five seasons:
"I have never been a big fan of the two-back system, so I don't know how we plan on using him," Johnson said casually. "I'm not afraid of competition, but I was thinking we'd maybe get a draft pick for the other back. And you don't give a guy that kind of money to be just a goal-line guy and in tough-yardage situations. So we'll see what happens."
In 2012, Johnson averaged 17.3 carries per game, while the rest of the team averaged a combined 6.3 carries, including 3.7 per game from quarterback Jake Locker. While Johnson said he understood that another player taking some carries can help him, he also made it clear that he wants to remain the featured player for the Titans:
"And I don't mind a guy getting a carry or two. But if I am the main guy and it is supposed to be my team ... it shouldn't be an issue," Johnson said.
The first two seasons of Johnson's career were his statistical best and featured bruising back LenDale White splitting time with him in the backfield. Since the departure of White, though, Javon Ringer and Jamie Harper haven't been able to fill the void and Johnson hasn't been able to have the same level of effectiveness. In 2009 he accumulated 2,006 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns.
In Greene's final season with the Jets he finished with 1,063 yards rushing and eight touchdowns, matching Johnson's 17.3 carries per game.