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Report: Titans tell Chris Johnson he will be released

Chris JohnsonIn a development that should come as a surprise to no one, Jim Wyatt of The Tennesseean reported on Friday that the Tennessee Titans have informed Chris Johnson he will be released. The move will save the team $6 million in cap space for the 2014 season.

Johnson made it clear a while back that he would never take a pay cut to remain with the Titans. It has been relatively obvious since Ken Whisenhunt was hired that Johnson is not his guy. Whisenhunt and general manager Ruston Webster have been given several chances to back Johnson, yet they have always stopped short of saying he is in the team’s future plans. That’s because he wasn’t.

Johnson can be one of the most explosive players in the game when he tries, but he has a tendency to take plays off and not give 100% effort. There’s a reason some of his former teammates have described him as selfish.

All that said, Johnson is still only 28 years old. Despite all the criticism he has faced, the former East Carolina star has never rushed for less than 1,000 yards in a season during his six-year NFL career. He won’t get the type of money that the Titans gave him on the open market, but plenty of teams — one of which will be the New York Jets — will have a high interest in CJ?K.

Keith Bulluck: Chris Johnson has always been a ‘me’ guy as a player

Chris Johnson TitansFormer longtime Tennessee Titans linebacker Keith Bulluck says running back Chris Johnson is a “me” person as a player and never takes the blame for things that go wrong.

Bulluck was appearing during his weekly guest spot on “The Midday 180″ on WGFX Thursday and was asked by host Paul Kuharsky about Johnson not taking the time to introduce himself to new head coach Ken Whisenhunt. Kuharsky had an agenda there and thinks Johnson should reach out to the new coaches, even if Johnson is likely to be released by the team. Bulluck agreed and then went into an analysis of Johnson’s personality.

“Even if I’m not going to be on the team, just to meet him. It’s just professionalism. But, I will say, different strokes for different folks. Some people are too cool for school, some people don’t get it, they don’t get how things work. You know, CJ’s been there a while. You guys have been covering him, you know what type of person he is.

“He’s a friend of mine but when it comes to athlete, he’s a ‘me’ person. He’s a ‘me’ person when it comes to the athlete. For the years that he’s been there, it’s never been his fault why he didn’t have a good running game or why he didn’t have a good game. It was always somebody else’s fault. I’m not surprised that CJ hasn’t come in to even meet coach or see what’s going on in general. I’m not surprised by that.”

Bulluck insists that he is friends with Johnson and wasn’t trying to bash his former teammate. He even responded to someone on Twitter who made that accusation.

The assessment from Bulluck isn’t at all surprising. Johnson said in December that there was no way he would take a pay cut to stay with the Titans, which is totally fine. But he absolutely has been a me-guy on the field. He was upset when the Titans signed another running back last year. He’s blamed his offensive line for his struggles. And he said he didn’t do so well last season because of his meniscus injury.

It always does seem to be someone else’s fault. And how much of a me-first guy is Johnson? He once said he preferred the Hall of Fame to a Super Bowl ring.

Helmet smack to Eye on Football

Chris Johnson to Delanie Walker: Call the ‘cancers’ out during the season

Chris JohnsonTennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker said earlier this week that a handful of locker room “cancers” cost the team a decent season and resulted in Mike Munchak losing his job. His comments caused many — myself included — to speculate that one of the cancers he was referring to is Chris Johnson.

Johnson took offense to that. Shortly after Walker’s comments went viral, the Titans running back took to Twitter to scold Walker for not naming names.

“I usually dont do this but if you feel certain people was cancer to the team call them out and say names,” Johnson wrote. “It’s to late to mention it once season is over. Call the cancer out during the year so we can get things fixed instead of waitin and letting the team slip away #JUSTSAYING.”

It was obvious Johnson was irritated with what Walker said, though it appears the two were able to hash things out and clear the air quickly. A short while later, CJ?K redirected his frustration toward the media.

“Me and @delaniewalker82 talk all the time no shots fired we on same page but when people outside of the locker room try in say who the cancers r its crazy,” he wrote.

Given some of the selfish comments he has made in the past and the questionable effort he has put forth during games, it makes sense that Johnson would be one of the cancers Walker was speaking of. Otherwise, his future with the team wouldn’t be in doubt.

H/T LBS reader Pete M.

Report: Chris Johnson unlikely to be back with Titans

Chris-Johnson-Says-He-Is-Better-Than-Adrian-PetersonKen Whisenhunt was hired as the next head coach of the Tennessee Titans earlier this week, and his arrival may signal some major changes for the organization. That could start with running back Chris Johnson.

According to ESPN’s Ed Werder, Johnson is “not likely” to be Whisenhunt’s running back in 2014. That could mean Whisenhunt will keep him on the roster and look to add another back to share the load, but it should be noted that Johnson has three years remaining on the six-year, $55 million contract he signed at the start of the 2011 season. If Johnson isn’t Whisenhunt’s guy, the Titans will likely release him.

After the Titans announced the hiring of Whisenhunt, general manager Ruston Webster would not commit to Johnson being the team’s running back in 2014.

“We just got a new coach,” Webster said Tuesday, via Jim Wyatt of The Tennesseean. “Those are things that we have to talk through, and we’ll do all that. I have been totally focused on this process (hiring a coach) and getting it done as fast as we could.”

Johnson recently stated that he would rather play elsewhere if the Titans can’t find ways to use him “better” with a new head coach. He also said there is no chance he would take a pay cut to remain in Tennessee, so the stepping stones toward a divorce seem to have been laid out.

Whisenhunt is an offensive-minded coach, so I doubt he thinks he needs Johnson in order to succeed. CJ?K can be one of the most explosive backs in the league when he tries, but he rarely gives 100% effort. The Titans would be better off clearing some cap space and starting fresh.

Chris Johnson: ‘No way’ I’ll take pay cut to stay with Titans

Chris Johnson TitansDon’t expect Chris Johnson to give the Tennessee Titans a hometown discount to stay with them beyond the season.

CJ1K hasn’t been the same dynamic player since holding out prior to the 2011 season. Though the Titans running back eventually signed a 4-year, $53 million deal with $30 million guaranteed before that season, he’s in danger of being cut by the team because he is set to make $8 million next season. Would Johnson consider taking a pay cut to increase the likelihood that the Titans bring him back?

“No way,” he said via The Tennessean.

Johnson then explained that he felt his dropoff in production is due to circumstances.

“I don’t feel like it’s all my fault. It’s a team effort.”

Ha, good one, Chris. This guy has consistently been blaming his offensive line for his struggles the past few seasons. If that’s the reason for his problems, then isn’t he telling us he’s not too special of a player?

Remember when there was all that talk about who’s better between him and Adrian Peterson? Peterson had full-on knee surgery and is still better. That’s a joke of a discussion now, and it’s funny that CJ1K thought he was better than All Day back then.

Johnson’s feelings also don’t seem to be too hurt about not being with the Titans next year. A fan tweeted this note to him:

“You shouldn’t take a pay cut. The Titans also 100% should cut you. You aren’t the same player & a horrible teammate.”

I don’t know what “ralph level” is, but obviously he’s not too bothered by the criticism.

Johnson must be smoking bigger blunts than this one if he thinks he’s going to make more than like $6 million on the open market. Why would someone pay him big money? He’s not a game-changer anymore.

Chris Johnson goes off on his disappointed fantasy owners

Chris JohnsonChris Johnson went off on his disappointed fantasy football owners, turning the tables on them and blaming them for drafting him and starting him in their lineups.

Johnson made his comments on Twitter Sunday night after rushing for just 21 yards on 15 carries in the Tennessee Titans’ 38-13 win over the New York Jets.

“Public service announcement: I can care less about fantasy football. Key word fantasy. As long as we win I’m happy. I rush for 200 n lose y’all happy,” Johnson wrote.

“U r the head coach n the owner of ur fantasy team so u should be mad at urself I didn’t ask any of u to draft me so if I’m so sorry y start me,” Johnson said in another tweet.

Ignoring his shorthand Twitter game, he makes a good point. If you’re a fantasy football owner, it’s your fault for drafting him. I didn’t think he would do anything this year, and that’s been the case. CJ went from 2K to barely CJ1K. If you took him in your draft and continue to start him, that’s on you.

The trend of seeing football players respond to fantasy owners via Twitter has been popular this year. We saw Ray Rice lash out at them earlier this season, and now Johnson has. Last year DeAngelo Williams did it after taking a lot of nastiness.

Who can really blame Johnson for his reaction? Some fans were supportive of him after the game, but others crushed him with hateful tweets. Let’s take a look at some of them. Be warned that the language is offensive in many of them.

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Chris Johnson: All the things Adrian Peterson has done, I did them first

Chris-Johnson-TitansAdrian Peterson has been one of the best running backs in the NFL since the Minnesota Vikings drafted him in 2007. When all is said and done, he could go down as one of the greatest of all time.

Chris Johnson has also been one of the better rushers in the league, but he has declined quite a bit since he rushed for 2,006 yards in 2009 — his second season with the Tennessee Titans. Most people would tell you that Peterson is a better player if for no other reason than work ethic. He rushed for over 2,000 yards last year coming off reconstructive knee surgery, but Johnson wants to remind everyone that he was “CJ2K” before that happened.

“I did it first,” Johnson told Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com. “Not one time did I sit back and say he did something that I can’t do. I did it first. He’s a great back. But I can’t sit here and say out of my own mouth that Adrian Peterson is better than me. All the things he’s done, I’ve done the same things. I did them first.”

When Johnson has room to run, no one is better. He’s arguably the fastest back in the league, but he’s not going to lower his shoulder and run through anyone. Peterson makes his own room by not shying away from contact. Johnson tends to quit if his offensive line isn’t at the top of its game.

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