Chris Johnson trade rumors have started to float again after the Titans started shopping the speedy running back and teams like the Dallas Cowboys, Atlanta Falcons, Miami Dolphins, Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens and St. Louis Rams could be options for a deal, as Tennessee is looking to get rid of the RB through a trade or releasing him after the new league year starts.
Johnson has been at odds with the Titans for some time regarding his contract and with the team wanting him to take a pay cut and the star wanting a raise, trades have been explored as a possible solution. According to Pro Football Talk, the Titans are shopping Johnson around the league and they could end up releasing him if a deal doesn't get done. Johnson rushed for 2,000 yards back in 2009 and he has been hanging onto that ever since and while he has been remarkably consistent at getting over 1,000 yards, that doesn't mean he has been the most proficient and productive back in recent years.
Johnson has gone over 1,000 yards in each of his years in the league, but the past few seasons he has declined in yards per carry and yards overall and his long last season was 30 yards, the shortest in his six years in the league. The season before he had a long run of 94 yards and in each of the past two seasons he has had just six touchdowns each year after having 14 and 11 in 2009 and 2010. Johnson had a career low in totals yards from scrimmage last season and now he wants a raise after signing a four-year contract extension for $54 million before 2011.
This season he is getting paid $8 million and according to ESPN.com, has $23 million over the next three years coming to him as his base salary and that could be too much for the Titans. The other teams may not have the money to trade for him, but they could look into it, including the Dolphins, who have the cap space, and the Falcons, who need a running back. The Cowboys don't have the room and the Dolphins seem to be a solid fit, but they could go after names like Darren McFadden or Ben Tate and they are already on the market.
The Cleveland Browns could be an option as well, as they are coming in with some of the most cap space in the league and Johnson's former offensive coordinator is now there as an assistant and they could trade for him after trading away Trent Richardson this past season. Johnson could end up getting released and the Titans are trying to figure out what the best course is ahead as they have a new coach coming in this season. Johnson has been described as a me-first player and right now the way things are no one on the Titans is disputing that and if a trade doesn't go down, he could be released very soon.