Chris Johnson thinks Titans cut him late just to be ‘nasty’
From the moment Ken Whisenhunt was hired to be the next head coach of the Tennessee Titans, it appeared obvious Chris Johnson had played his last snap with the team. Whisenhunt stopped short of ever publicly endorsing Johnson and Johnson had already stated he would never take a pay cut to stay in Tennessee, so the writing was on the wall.
For some reason, the Titans waited until three weeks after the free agency period opened to release CJ?K. They could have been taking some time to make a final decision, but Johnson believes they deliberately dragged their heels to mess with him.
“I think they was just being nasty to be honest,” Johnson told Sirius XM NFL Radio’s Alex Marvez and Keith Bulluck on Tuesday, via Pro Football Talk. “I love Tennessee, I love my fans and all that, but I think at the end of the day [the Titans] did me wrong.
“And I don’t know if it was, ‘Oh, we’re gonna get revenge back on you for holding out’ when I held out the whole training camp [in 2011] or whatever. I feel like they already knew they were going in a different direction, and it just baffles me that you release me after free agency is over and you wait until a couple days [before] it’s time to show up for offseason workouts to let me go.”
As PFT’s Mike Florio noted, the Titans likely held onto Johnson for a few weeks because they were hoping to trade him. A trade was a long shot given Johnson’s $8 million salary and how obvious it was that Tennessee wasn’t keeping him, but it was worth a shot. Did they care that they were hampering Johnson’s ability to negotiate with other teams? Of course not.
Whatever the case, Johnson believes the Titans will regret giving him his walking papers.
“I’m gonna make them regret letting me go,” Johnson said. “They’re gonna regret it. Trust that.”
That’s not going to happen. The Titans know what Johnson is capable of. He’s one of the most explosive backs in the league and could easily run for 1,500 yards this season. But even if he does, that doesn’t necessarily mean he was going to give it his all and do the same in Tennessee.