Johnson must understand timing, priorities

July, 28, 2011
7/28/11
9:40
AM ET
Since July 2010 it’s been no secret that Chris Johnson wasn’t going to be in training camp in 2011 without a new contract that included significant guaranteed money.

Johnson
Adam Schefter says that Johnson will indeed stay away from camp in pursuit of a new deal.
“Johnson is heading into his fourth season and due to make just $800,000 in base salary. The final two years of his deal can max out at roughly $2.7 million. He considered holding out last summer for a contract that included $30 million in guarantees, but settled instead for a shuffling of money he had coming later that boosted his 2010 salary by $1.5 million to $2.05 million.”

Complicating things for the Titans: DeAngelo Williams just got $21 million guaranteed from the Panthers. Johnson’s not taking less than that. Frankly, he's worth more.

Personnel-wise, Johnson qualifies as priority No. 1 for Tennessee. But timeline-wise, there are other things they simply have to take care of first.

Johnson and his agent Joel Segal surely understand that.

I’m guessing Johnson would like to continue to run behind fullback Ahmard Hall, who’s a free agent. The clock is ticking on such a deal as Hall can explore other options.

Deals for Hall and for other free agents need to happen before the Titans have time to talk contract with the star running back who still has two years remaining on his contract.

But missed camp time for Johnson will sting a team eager to get to work and in need of all the practice time -- with all of its players -- it can get.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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