Chris Johnson Would Agree To Short-Term Contract With Tennessee Titans

July 15, 2010- By Jonathan Lowell

Television cameras caught up with Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson at the annual ESPY awards, and the former NFL MVP had some pretty interesting comments concerning his current contract situation with the team. Johnson and the Titans have yet to agree to a deal that would allow him to report to training camp.

ESPN’s Hannah Storm was the interviewer backstage at the show, and asked Johnson what it would take to get him into training camp. The 2,000 yard rusher from a year ago has not reported to any off-season activities.

“I want a long-term deal,” Johnson said. “But if I don’t get a long-term deal then a short-term deal just to get me to camp — I have no problem with that.”

The former East Carolina Pirate said he has been independently working out, and is eager to join his teammates in camp. He is not sure where the team and his agent Joel Segal are in negotiations.

“I’m going to let my agent and the team handle that,” Johnson added.

Since talks first broke down at the beginning of the summer, the Titans have made efforts to offer Johnson a incentive laced short-term deal to hold him over until they can come to an agreement on a new contract.

The current offer is reportedly worth $2.5 million for the 2010 season. Johnson is set to make just $550,000 under his current deal. That figure is far below the league average at the position, and league’s top running back last year maintains he will not report to camp until it is much higher.

In a red carpet interview earlier, Johnson told Colleen Dominguez that talks about a current deal are at a stand still. Johnson desires a long-term deal with at least $30 million in guaranteed money.

A few of Johnson’s teammates were also at the ESPYs. Quarterback Vince Young said he was eager to see his starting running back in camp with the rest of the team.

“I pray to God that he gets in [for the start of camp],” Young said.

Johnson says his goal in 2010 is to run for 2,500 yards. That figure may not be out of his reach as he rushed for 2,006 yards in 2009. He played in all 16 of the Titans regular season games, and scored 14 rushing touchdowns. Johnson was awarded the NFL Offensive Player of the Year after setting franchise rushing records. ESPN awarded Johnson with the Breakthrough Athlete award Wednesday night.

USA sportsbooks have set the Titans chances of winning the AFC South at +350 odds. Pre-season lines for them to win the 2010 AFC Championship at +1400 odds, and they are set among the underdogs to win Super Bowl XLV at +3000.

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