Tennessee Titans  

 

Titans owner: 'Life's too short' to deal with recalcitrant CJ2K

  • By NFL.com Wire Reports
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Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams says he's not getting involved in contract negotiations with running back Chris Johnson. But he's sure making his opinion over the star holdout known.

A day after Titans general manager Mike Reinfeldt said the team had yet to make an offer to Johnson's camp because the sides were so far apart on parameters of a deal, Adams backed that stance. He reiterated the public stance of the organization that Johnson needs to report to the team before getting an extension.

“I'm not gonna make any offer with the way he's acting. Life's too short,” Adams said, according to TitanInsider.

"... that's his decision. He's got to make that. I'm not going to interfere. If he doesn't want to come in and play, then he doesn't want to come in and play," Adams said.

Johnson, who has said he wants a contract that ranks him with the NFL's "elite" playmakers, has two years left on his contract and is scheduled to make a little more than $1 million this season instead of the $850,000 originally scheduled, thanks to the Titans' revisions last season. Johnson, meanwhile, has maintained since last year he would like $30 million guaranteed in his new deal.

Johnson returned to Nashville this weekend for personal business, sources told The Tennessean, but left Sunday without meeting the Titans. NFL Network insider Michael Lombardi reported that Johnson's agent, Joel Segal, sent a new proposal to the Titans before Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald's eight-year, $120 million contract was announced late Saturday.

Johnson tweeted "Congrats to @LarryFitzgerald, god is good" on Saturday night after news broke about Fitzgerald's deal. Fitzgerald responded via Twitter, "thanks CJ you up next my guy."

Reinfeldt revealed to The Tennessean on Saturday that the sides are so far apart that the organization hasn't even made an offer to Johnson.

"We’ve discussed parameters. If we can't agree on the parameters, there's no sense making offers," Reinfeldt told the newspaper. "If your parameters are different -- and if you are talking a different language -- then you are wasting your time.

"We’ve talked to his agent and will continue to talk to his agent."

The result has been a stalemate between the two sides, with no end in sight.

Titans coach Mike Munchak is hoping the sides will work out a deal so Johnson can get back to work and bolster a running game that is showing early promise during the preseason.

"We're three weeks away from starting ... it's getting to be important that we get this thing worked out," Munchak said Sunday. "As coaches, we don't have any control over all that. But you get anxious. You're trying to make decisions on how we move forward so we're all hoping it's done soon so we can move forward and quit having to do these kind of questions."

The Titans open the season Sept. 11 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Munchak said the Titans aren't going to entertain trade offers for Johnson, a three-time Pro Bowl running back who has the most yards rushing of any NFL back over the past three seasons. The coach also doesn't agree that the Titans picked up negotiating leverage with how well they ran the ball through some big holes without Johnson.

"I could easily stand here and say CJ would've scored on three of those," Munchak said. "I don't know if he would have, but with his speed coming through there ... We're lucky we had guys who stepped up."

Johnson's holdout started when he didn't report to training camp with the rest of the Titans on July 29. Reinfeldt told The Associated Press on Aug. 11 that they were willing to make Johnson the highest-paid running back in the history of the NFL.

Munchak, promoted to head coach in February, pointed out how valuable Johnson is to Tennessee and yet tried to sell the running back on what he's missing out on in the team's new offensive approach. 

"We need him here to be part of this thing for us to reach our goals. I think it's encouraging for him to see that we're going to do some great things in the running game, and we want him to be a big part of that," Munchak said. 

He noted how the offensive line, tight ends and receivers are fully committed to blocking in the run game and predicts "great things this year." That's bold talk considering Johnson ran for 2,006 yards in 2009, just the sixth man in NFL history to go over 2,000 yards.

"He's going have the chance to be part of something maybe better than he has been part of before," Munchak said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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