The Tennessee Titans have finally managed to do what most NFL defenses fail to accomplish, they have caught up to start running back Chris Johnson and have tackled the elusive rusher with a four year extension, thus ending his holdout. The deal, an extension of his existing one, is reportedly worth $53 million with $30 million guaranteed.
Not bad for a guy who was only scheduled to make a little over a million this season.
The deal comes at a crucial time for both parties. With a new starting quarterback in Matt Hasselbeck and a revised offensive system under Chris Palmer, something had to give if the holdout Johnson was going to get any reps before the Titans September 11th opener against Jacksonville.
According to Titans fullback Ahmard Hall, Johnson will need to put in the work if he's going to be ready for the season opener.
"You're going to have to think," Hall said. "You're not going to just be able to roll in and hit the ground running as if coach (Mike) Heimerdinger were still here. Coach Palmer has put in a lot of good things, but the language is different. He's definitely going to have to think. The sooner he gets in the better."
Maybe with this deal complete, Johnson won't have to hear as much criticism on his twitter. This is a good thing as he doesn't seem to react well to it, having lashed out at detractors on Wednesday who were less than understanding about his holdout.
For those who haven't read it yet, Johnson responded to the negative twitter remarks by calling those who did it “fake Titans fans”. He followed that up with the following: "I don't have a regular job so don't compare me to you and I can care less if uthink I'm greedy."
With Johnson's now triumphant return to a backfield that had ran the ball well this preseason, Tennessee looks to be in position to possibly make some waves in the rugged AFC South.
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