“I feel like if they are not going to use me the way I am supposed to be used and let me be the horse, then I would rather them let me move on.” Johnson said via Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean. “Their money would be wasted on me. I feel like if they are not going to use me right, let somebody get me that’s going to use me the right way.”
“No disrespect, I love Tennessee and would love to be in Tennessee. But I feel like I am wasting the prime years of my career if I am not used right. You feel me? It is crazy to look at backs around the league and see the opportunities they have,” Johnson said.
Johnson is in line to make $8 million next season as part of the huge $53.5 million contract he signed in 2011. If the Titans decide to bring him back, that cost may be a bit steep for a running back approaching 29 that rushed for 1,077 yards and a career-low 3.9 yards per carry last season.
“I am not a coach, and I am not a GM. But if I am paying a player to make him the top-paid guy on the team, there is no way in critical situations that he is going to be on the sideline. Around the goal line, I’d come out.”
Johnson became a household name by rushing for 2,006 yards and 14 touchdowns in just his second season, but he should be more cautious about criticizing his role in the offense these days. Johnson is not the same back he was earlier in his career and even though he would like 300 carries in a season, limiting the touches of a running back his size — Johnson is listed at 5-11 and 195 lbs. — may be extending his career.
Productive running backs can be found at all levels of the NFL Draft. For example, Green Bay Packers All-Pro rookie Eddie Lacy was a second round pick. St. Louis Rams leading rusher wasn’t picked until the 5th round. The Redskins found a 6th round gem in Alfred Morris. The list can go on and on.
If Johnson really wants to hang around Tennessee and collect that $8 million next season, he should probably cool it on discussing with the media how many more carries he thinks he deserves before he finds himself looking for another team.
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