After putting up more than 2,000 rushing yards Chris Johnson wants to get paid like an elite NFL player. We could debate forever if one very fine season makes a player elite, but I think the real point here is Johnson deserves a raise and in this climate he is unlikely to get one. More than that NFL teams are allowed to cut a player to rid themselves of a contract, but players have little to no leverage to get out of a contract they are clearly out performing.
In the case of Johnson he is right in the middle of a five year deal that will pay him 12 million dollars over its term, and it guaranteed up to 7 million. Johnson thinks, he is worth a heck of a lot more, and to be fair he is probably right. However he did sign a five year deal, and there is an argument that says he should be a man and live up to the terms of the deal that he signed.
However in today’s NFL performance on the field means dollars in a player’s pocket. Many of you will say hey it is an uncapped year pay the man. Well the 30% rule still sort of applies, and that means a players salary cannot raise by more than 30% from year to year. That is there to keep teams from pilfering talent with big money contracts.
The Titans are going to have to get creative if they want to keep this player in house and keep him happy. A 30% raise for Johnson in 2010 would only pay him 165,000 dollars more. Hardly enough for a guy who had the kind of 2009 that this guy had. Since he is skipping all off season OTA’s the Titans are unlikely to see Johnson until the start of training campo, and by them if no dollar figure has been agreed to he will most likely demand a trade.