The Tennessee Titans pulled the trigger on a move that had become inevitable when they released running back Chris Johnson this week. Johnson’s contract with Tennessee was the type of absurd deal that teams simply cannot afford to shoulder, especially teams with holes like the Titans.
After exploring trades for Johnson the team finally let him go, and while there are interested teams the initial market for his services would probably best be described as lukewarm. Teams are interested, sure, but not with the urgency that might befall an elite running back on the level of which Johnson seems to perceive himself.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports that Johnson is expected to pick a team by the middle of next week.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Johnson currently is expected to pick his next team by the middle of next week.
It’s still unclear where he will land, although the strongest link appears to be to the Jets. Given the extended availability of Johnson via trade and the protracted stretch of time in which it was inevitable he’d be cut, interested teams have had plenty of time to do their work and come to a conclusion as to level of interest and financial commitment.”
According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Johnson was the 42nd ranked halfback overall in the NFL last year (out of 55 graded). The only useful skill he brings is running the ball, being well below average in every other facet of the game (including as a receiver out of the backfield).
If not for the lingering memory of his 2,000 yard season and his ability to “hit a home run,” it might be even more difficult for Johnson to find a suitor given the nature of today’s NFL where teams can find production at running back on the cheap. The team with the strongest interest appears to be the New York Jets, with the Miami Dolphins, Atlanta Falcons, and Buffalo Bills also reportedly checking in.