Coming out of East Carolina, Chris Johnson was a projected second to third round draft pick.
After he ran a 4.24 40-yard dash at the combine, Johnson elevated his stock to first-round status.
When the Titans were on the clock with the 24th pick, not many expected them to take a running back because they already had LenDale White on the roster.
Some questioned the pick at first, but as it turns out, Tennessee may have drafted a player that could become the best running back to ever play the game.
Johnson signed a five-year, $12 million contract with $7 million guaranteed. For a late first-rounder, this is a pretty reasonable contract.
In his rookie season, Johnson ran for 1,228 yards on 251 carries. These solid stats got him second place in the AP Rookie of the Year voting.
Chris had now established himself as one of the best running backs in the NFL at that time.
This next year would be where Johnson took over as the very best.
Coming into the 2009-2011 season, only five running backs had ever rushed for 2,000 yards or more. Those running backs are Terrell Davis, Eric Dickerson, Jamal Lewis, O.J. Simpson, and Barry Sanders.
Nobody expected Chris Johnson to rush for 2,000 yards in only his second season in the league.
After 16 games, Johnson had rushed for 2,006 yards, earning him the AP Offensive Player of the Year award.
After two great seasons, Chris is looking for a new contract, and he's not being shy about it.
Currently, he is holding out of the Titans OTAs in hopes that they will feel pressured to honor him with a new, rich deal.
On an episode of Jim Rome is Burning several months ago, Johnson stated that he was the best running back in the league by far.
Don't get me wrong, I love confidence. But this kind of seemed like more of a cocky player that thinks he's the cream of the crop.
When it comes down to it many do believe that Chris Johnson is the best running back in the league. But not many realize that most of his big runs are because of his amazing offensive line and his tremendous speed.
If you put Usain Bolt on a team with a good offensive line, he will be a superstar.
In my opinion, the most pure running back in the game today is Adrian Peterson. Steven Jackson is another running back that can be argued as the best there is out there.
Should Chris Johnson be getting paid more money?
Should he be complaining about it in hopes to get more cash?
Should he be on the field with the team playing a game that he "loves?"
Brandon Marshall is a classic example of a player that played much better than what his contract showed, but he still went out and hit the field when he was healthy.
I'm all about a player getting paid what he deserves, but I feel as though you should wait for your pay-day when your contract actually expires.
With that said, there is absolutely NO way that Chris will play for three more years with the money he's getting right now. But I don't think holding out is absolutely necessary.
Ricky Williams publicly stated on camera that he would play the game for free if he had to. Now that's dedication to the game of football right there.
I love to write sports articles, so I do it for free. Would it be nice if there was a little cash flow involved? Of course. But I won't go to the site creator and complain about it.
Just honor what the deal says. Plus, I highly doubt that Chris Johnson is in any way struggling to make ends meet.
If he can get on the field and help the Titans organization, I will once again respect him. Until that happens, I don't see him as a player that I would admire.
Go play football and you will get paid, Mr. Johnson. I promise you that.
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