If the Tennessee Titans were willing to meet star running back Chris Johnson halfway (I’d say agreeing to make him the NFL’s highest-paid RB counts), and showing up is half the battle... it stands to reason that the Johnson should have a new deal and the Titans should have their best player in camp by now.
Alas, that’s not the case.
Johnson — who has yet to report to training camp — met with team management on Wednesday but according to Titans general manager Mike Reinfeldt, no deal was reached between the two sides. He expects a contract resolution in the “next day or so” despite saying in a statement that he’s unsure if any progress was made during the meeting.
At this point, if the Titans are willing to break the bank for their top tailback, as they claim, Johnson’s extended holdout should soon be over. Unless, of course, he’s simply pulling the ol’ Brett Favre routine of skipping training camp and jumping right into the fray in Week 1.
Maybe he’s watching running backs go down left and right and would rather preserve his body for the punishment of the regular season. Whatever the reason, you have to figure Johnson will be in uniform when the Titans take on Jacksonville on Sept. 11.
In other running back news from around the league, it sounds like Green Bay Packers veteran Ryan Grant may not make the team.
According to a report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Grant could be the odd man out if the Pack decide to keep only three halfbacks. Last year’s late-season starter James Starks, short-yardage specialist John Kuhn and rookie Alex Green are the only three backs who appear to have solidified their roles on the team while Grant and Dimitri Nance could be battling it out for the final spot — assuming there’s a fourth spot to be had.
Grant eclipsed 1,200 yards in both 2008 and 2009 but missed all of 2010 after fracturing his knee and tearing ankle ligaments in Week 1. With a base salary of $3.5 million, Grant would be an expensive fourth running back to keep in a year in which the Packers have several tough decisions to make about future free agents.
This seems like an appropriate time to remind you to adjust your pre-draft fantasy running back rankings accordingly.