Earlier in this offseason, the Titans make a huge decision to release all-pro running back Chris Johnson. Now don’t get me wrong, I love CJ to death, but a running back in the NFL is not worth $8 million dollars a year, unless you’re Mr. AP.
Johnson has been the face of the Titans organization since they drafted him in the first round in 2008. His production speaks for itself, 7,965 career rushing yards, 4.6 ypc average, and 58 total touchdowns in just only 6 full seasons. Also, no one can forget his historic season in 2009 when he rushed for over 2,000 yards. He still holds the NFL record for most scrimmage yards, which he eclipsed in 2009.
CJ has been slowing down and his yards per carry have been slipping. People can talk all they want, but it’s hard to remain as productive as he has been when he is the only weapon on the field. He has faced stacked boxes throughout his career, but he has always eclipsed 1,000 yards in each of his six seasons. He also is very durable and has only missed one game in his entire career. Both of those facts are outstanding. Oh yeah! Don’t forget CJ is still by far the fastest player in the NFL.
So why in the hell would the Titans let him go? Simple, money. He was due to make $8 million this year when running backs are a dime a dozen. He was unwilling to restructure, and he never made an effort to reach new head coach Ken Whisenhunt. So it is what it is, but CJ will be missed. The Jets will be getting a great player, but maybe not the best team leader, but who cares!
Just to remind you of how great CJ is, simply take a look at the NFL records he holds:
- He is the only player in NFL history with a touchdown of 50 yards, 60 yards, and 80 yards, in one game. A 57-yard rush, a 69-yard reception, and a 91-yard rush. (week 2 vs Texans, 2009)
- Most total scrimmage yards in one single season: 2,509 (2009)
- He is the only player in NFL history with 6 TD runs of over 80 yards. No other player has more than three.
- He is the only player in NFL history to run for 3 80-yard TD runs in a single season on more than one occasion (2009, 2012).
- He became the first player in NFL history with six consecutive games of 125+ rushing yards and a 5.0+ yards per carry average in each of those games
- In 2009, he became the first player in NFL history with at least 2,000 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards in the same season.
- With his three touchdown runs of 85 or more yards in 2009 (91, 89, 85), and one in 2012 (94), he is the only player in NFL history to register four career touchdown runs of 85 or more yards. No other player has more than two such career touchdown runs.
- Johnson rushed for more than 100 yards in 12 consecutive games (10/18/09 – 9/12/10), which ranks second in NFL history (Barry Sanders, 14).