Chris Johnson ultimately wants $30-40 million guaranteed in a new contract. For now, he wants to hear something from the Tennessee Titans.
The running back spelled out his desires in an interview with ESPN, which aired Monday.
“Anywhere that’s between $30-40 [million] guaranteed,” he said.
Johnson has been absent from all Titans’ offseason training sessions, including organized team activities (OTAs), the last of which were scheduled to take place this week (Tuesday, Thursday, Friday). He has completed two years of the five-year contract he signed as a rookie in 2008. That deal included $7 million in guaranteed money but stipulated a base salary of $550,000 for the coming season.
A rule currently in effect because the NFL and its Players’ Association are in the final year of a collective bargaining agreement stipulates that a player’s salary in 2010 cannot be over 30 percent more than the player’s 2009 salary, but that rule includes stipulations for bonuses and other money as well.
According to SalaryCap101.com, Johnson could get a deal similar to the one San Francisco linebacker Patrick Willis recently signed (five years, $50 million, $29 million guaranteed).
“I want to be the highest paid running back in the league,” Johnson said. “ … I want to be one of the highest paid offensive players – period.”
Johnson reportedly has said that he is willing to hold out of training camp, which opens July 31.
He indicated, though, that his greatest frustration comes not from his current deal but from the lack of negotiations – thus far, at least – on a new one.
“All the other guys who are going through contract scenarios right now, at least their teams are offering them something,” he said. “Tennessee’s not even offering anything.”