Tennessee Titans

Chris Johnson: Titans Need CJ2K to Put His Money Where His Mouth Is

NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 30:  Chris Johnson #28 of the Tennessee Titans runs with the ball before the NFL game against the Indianapolis Colts at LP Field on October 30, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Matt KingFeatured ColumnistOctober 31, 2011

Chris Johnson is doing everything he can this season to make sure another running back never gets paid. Good work by him.

CJ2K held out for a contract extension after his first three monster seasons, including 2009 when he rushed for 2,006 yards. He eventually got it, right before the season started, inking a four-year extension with a new-money average of $13.4 million.

Then he stopped being a good player. Like, immediately.

So far this season, Johnson has rushed the ball 93 times for 268 yards and just one touchdown. That's an average of 2.9 yards per carry for those of you playing at home. That's not franchise running back numbers. Those are practice squad running back numbers.

The Titans are 4-3, mostly thanks to a revitalized Matt Hasselbeck, and no thanks to a suddenly washed up Chris Johnson. But they aren't going to make any sort of push towards the playoffs if they don't start getting some (any!) production from the guy that they just paid a boatload of money to.

The last time I checked, contracts are given out for a player's future production. There's no such thing as paying a guy more money because he played great for you in the past (unless you're Derek Jeter). That's normally just called a bonus.

No, Johnson got paid for the future, and he needs to start acting like he is supposed to earn that money instead of acting like he's done all that he needs to earn it.

I mean, if you can only manage 2.4 YPC against the freaking Colts, that's on you. That's your fault. I could gain three yards a carry on those schlubs.

Look, Johnson is in his fourth year in the league. He's far from being ready to retire. There is no reason for him to be playing this bad unless you account for the holdout effecting his conditioning. But now we're seven games into the season. He should be conditioned.

It's not too late for him to pick up his act and help propel a suddenly solid Tennessee Titans team into the postseason. Maybe someone can pull those dreads away from his ears and tell him.

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