In news that proves why I should wait another week before writing 10,000 words about fantasy football and attractive women, the Tennessee Titans shocked Chris Johnson – Nay, the world! – when they announced that they were prepared to make him the highest paid running back in NFL history. Titans GM Mike Reinfeldt said that as soon as Johnson ends his holdout and returns to camp, he will honor the elite RB with the contract he deserves.
“We’re willing to make him the highest-paid running back in the history of the NFL,’’ Reinfeldt said. “That’s kind of where we are. … We’d like to have him here, and we’d like to be fair with him.” (Via The Tennessean with one hell of a Burnsy-esque photoshop)
When asked how he plans to pay that kind of money, Reinfeldt responded: “Have you seen the rest of this roster? We could sign two of him.” As for Johnson, he claims this is all completely news to him.
“I am surprised,” Johnson said of Reinfeldt’s “statement about offering to make me the highest-paid running back. Neither me nor Joel have received any offer from the Titans. Maybe they talked, but I guarantee we never received any offer.”
Johnson has every right to be skeptical of Reinfeldt’s statement, but it wouldn’t hurt for the mouse to take the cheese and just show up to camp. As long as Reinfeldt isn’t standing there with a giant check for “$1,000,000,000,000,000″ and whispering, “Do us a solid and don’t cash this until 2017,” it could be in Johnson’s best interest to go. But some people disagree.
Johnson is set to make a little more than $1 million this season if he doesn’t accept whatever Reinfeldt suggests that he’s offering. So is this a case of teasing him with a bad offer disguised as an irrefusable offer for the sake of turning public opinion in the team’s favor? Good lord, I thought we were done with this crap.
And the problem is that Johnson possibly has become even more upset in light of Reinfeldt’s decision to try to persuade the public that the Titans are doing the right thing by supposedly “offering” to pay Johnson more than any other running back in the league. (Pro Football Talk)
The operative word missing from that counterpoint is “history.” Reinfeldt said, “… in the history of the NFL.” I don’t know, maybe I’m naive to the ways of NFL negotiating, but shouldn’t Johnson and his agent at least go check out the offer before they call it a conspiracy and dig their heels deeper in the dirt?