NFL

Best Potential Landing Spots for Chris Johnson If Cut by Titans

Sean ODonnellContributor IIIDecember 10, 2013

Best Potential Landing Spots for Chris Johnson If Cut by Titans

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    Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

    According to a tweet from Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, big changes are coming for the Tennessee Titans. One such change is expected to be the release of running back Chris Johnson over the offseason.

    Johnson, who rushed for 2,006 yards in 2009, has had a fall from grace over the past few seasons.

    He has not been able to duplicate his success, although he has remained efficient while rushing for over 1,000 yards from 2008 through 2012.

    Despite a down year in 2013—Johnson has only averaged 3.8 yards per carry, which is a career low—he is still on pace to surpass the 1,000-yard mark once again.

    If the Titans truly do plan to part ways with Johnson, there are a handful of teams who could still use his services.

    Let's investigate which NFL teams would gain the most from acquiring Johnson over the upcoming offseason.

Jacksonville Jaguars

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    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    It is no secret that the Jacksonville Jaguars have struggled to run the football this season. The Jaguars are currently ranked dead last in the NFL, as they are only averaging 76.6 yards per game on the ground.

    Longtime running back Maurice Jones-Drew is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2013 season, and Jacksonville would do well to bring in some experience at the position given their relatively young team.

    Johnson's versatility could help the Jaguars get their offense off the ground, as he is more than capable of producing out of the backfield on the ground and through the air.

    Jacksonville currently has plenty of cap space to maneuver with, having the second-most room in the league with over $19.75 million, according to Spotrac.com.

    This union could allow the Jaguars to obtain a more dynamic offense instantly.

Cleveland Browns

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    Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

    The Cleveland Browns have been trying to squeeze by in the running game this year with longtime veteran Willis McGahee as their lead back. After the blockbuster trade of Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts for a first-round draft pick, the Browns are currently without an answer in the backfield.

    The Browns have plenty of rebuilding to do and would be wise to use their accumulated draft picks on other areas of the team.

    Cleveland currently has the most cap space available in the league, with $25.98 million, according to Spotrac.com. This number makes Johnson easily affordable.

    If the Browns are to get their offense going, they need balance. Cleveland has only been able to muster an average of 84.3 yards per game this season, which ranks them just 28th overall in the league.

    The speedy Johnson could be a very quick fix for their backfield woes.

Oakland Raiders

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    Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

    The Oakland Raiders have been able to remain very productive on the ground this season. They are currently ranked fourth overall in the NFL with an average of 134.4 yards per game. However, many of those yards have come from quarterback Terrelle Pryor.

    With the fine play of quarterback Matt McGloin in Pryor's absence, there could be a dramatic shift in the team's dynamic on the ground in the future.

    Running back Darren McFadden is set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2014, and given his injury history, it is unlikely the Raiders would want to continue to gamble with him.

    Johnson would bring a great spark to the Raiders offense, maintaining the speed they would lose once McFadden departs. Johnson could be in line for a timeshare in the backfield with the powerful Marcel Reece.

    The Raiders have enough cap space to get this deal done, as they currently have over $6 million in available room.

    This could turn out to be a great fit for a revamped Raiders offense.

Miami Dolphins

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    Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

     The Miami Dolphins already have a dual-threat backfield comprised of Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas. Unfortunately for Miami, the running game has seen more lows than highs over the course of the 2013 season.

    The Dolphins rank just 23rd in the league, averaging just 95.8 yards per game. Both Miller and Thomas have been incredibly inconsistent this season. They both have been able to average at least 4.0 yards per carry throughout the course of the season, but the overall production just has not been there.

    Both of these running backs are still relatively young, but could benefit from a speedy veteran to help out in the backfield. Johnson would be able to come in and provide a burst that the Dolphins currently lack.

    Miami has plenty of cap space available to get a deal with Johnson done, as they have the third-most space in the league with over $19.3 million, according to Spotrac.com.

    Adding a versatile weapon like Johnson to this Miami offense could provide a much-needed spark to increase the Dolphins' competitiveness in the AFC East.

Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

    Johnson to the Pittsburgh Steelers may seem like a bit of a stretch at first glance. However, when looking at the situation in the backfield, it begins to make a lot of sense.

    Yes, the Steelers did spend a second-round pick on running back Le'Veon Bell in the 2013 NFL draft. Bell has been lackluster so far this season and is averaging just 3.4 yards per carry. He has also been slightly injury prone.

    Pittsburgh has lost its old-fashioned ways of being a dominant rushing team, as they currently rank 31st in the NFL with an average of just 77.4 yards per game.

    Johnson would be a welcome addition in a backfield committee with Bell next season. Both running backs would maintain fresh legs, as their carries would be significantly decreased in this situation. This two-headed attack could bring the Steelers' rushing attack back to form.

    The Steelers do have some cap space to work with, as they currently have over $5 million in room, according to Spotrac.com. If they can make some smart personnel decisions over the offseason, Johnson could be a very intriguing option.

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