Tennessee Titans' Chris Johnson to Be Signed by Opening Day

John SzurlejAnalyst ISeptember 1, 2011

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 05:  Chris Johnson #28 of the Tennessee Titans runs against Courtney Greene #36 of the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first half at LP Field on December 5, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Chris Johnson will be signed by the time the NFL season officially gets underway for the majority of the league on September 11, 2011.

Johnson, who has refused to play and held the Titans hostage during this time, has already missed considerable time during his personal strike and is estimated to make $800,000 this season.

Johnson has been looking to become one of the highest paid players in the league, not just in is position, and has had a bitter holdout this preseason over his contract negotiations.

The three-time Pro Bowl running back's agent Joel Segal has landed contracts of considerable value for other clients including DeAngelo Williams thus far, and should be able to come to an agreement with the Titans on a deal that would meet expectations of both his client and the club.

Chris Johnson's tweet controversy in which he told fans to "shut the eff up" has brought this stalemate to a new level and Johnson may have lost bargaining chips due to it.

There is no question that the star running back deserves to make considerably more than what his current contract allots and the resolution to this issue may be found if the Titans agree to pay Johnson a salary that is on par with "elite" talent with a front loaded option including guarantees.

Johnson is taking a big gamble by staying put in his position, however, with injury concerns to Javon Ringer, an unproven Jaime Harper, and the Titans' failure to sign or try out a veteran to bring depth to the position, it may force the hand of the Titans front office.

Reports around the web and from sites like NFL.com have been stating that the two sides remain in close contact and show encouraging signs that a deal could be made but talk is cheap.

At this point with the start of the regular season looming and, with the uncertainty of the Titans' ground game, it could finally propel these negotiations to reach an actual agreement.

If an agreement can be reached, let's hope that all goes well and the time Johnson missed doesn't work against him conditioning wise.

It remains to be seen how this drama will effect the club in the locker room as Johnson's actions could be viewed in the same light as players with notorious attitudes like Randy Moss and Terrell Owens.

Regardless of your viewpoint on how this issue has been handled, the fact remains that for the Titans to have any success, Chris Johnson must be on the field.

A compromise could be reached and I believe it will happen by opening day.