Chris Johnson: How Much Is the Tennessee Titans RB Really Worth?

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Chris Johnson: How Much Is the Tennessee Titans RB Really Worth?
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Chris Johnson is holding out.

The Tennessee Titans star running back has been out for more than 12 days now, and has forfeited an accrued year towards free agency.

The latest via NFL.com:

The holdout of Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson entered a new phase on Tuesday when Johnson, according to ESPN, failed to report to training camp for a 12th consecutive day, losing a year toward unrestricted free agency under the rules of the new collective bargaining agreement.

The 25-year-old, entering his fourth NFL season, is due to make $800,000 in base salary in 2011. The final two years of his deal, which was revised last season to convince him to report, can max out at roughly $2.7 million.

Johnson, who led the NFL with 2,006 yards rushing in 2009, wants a long-term deal that would pay him far more than that, and appears willing to sacrifice a year toward free agency.

The Titans have said they are willing to talk to Johnson about a new contract but only if he reports to camp. Johnson has refused to do so unless he gets a new contract.

The question is obvious: how much is Chris Johnson really worth?

Well, for starters, he is a running back. Bill Barnwell goes through all the reasons not to sign a veteran running back here. Reading that, and through what I can see just as a football fan, it is becoming obvious that running backs do not remain elite for years on end like they used to.

They usually peak for about two to three seasons and then begin their decline. And yes, it can happen even at the young age of 25 (soon-to-be 26). No wonder Chris Johnson wants to get paid right now.

He knows his best days are behind him, and if his numbers decline again this year, he will not get that huge extension he thinks he deserves.

Well he's got something else coming to him.

There is no way the Titans should throw their money at Johnson. No way.

Everyone knows that the NFL is becoming a quarterback's league, and despite Johnson's immense talents, he is just not worth all the cap space. Tennessee should let him whine and mope on the sidelines, and see how much money he makes that way.

You aren't getting to 2,500 yards rushing, and I would be surprised if you ever even got to 1500 yards rushing again, Mr. Johnson.

Right now, he is not worth one penny. He is signed to a contract, and he should honor it.

Shut up and just play the damn game that you get paid millions to play.

If you play well? Then you will earn that next paycheck, just like the rest of us.

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