Chris Johnson Wants Salary Equivalent to Top Playmakers

Johnson has been the most productive running back in the NFL the last three seasons, but is grossly underpaid by those standards.

Posted: 08/16/2011 02:55 PM EDT
Chris Johnson

The Tennessee Titans want to make holdout Chris Johnson the highest paid running back in the NFL.

 

Johnson’s sights may be higher than that.

 

ESPN.com is reporting that Johnson, the most productive running back in the league the last three seasons, wants to be paid at rate equal to the top players in the league. He reportedly is seeking a deal that would pay him $39 million over the first three years at an average of $13 million per season.

 

The Titans haven’t commented on Johnson’s expectations and have shown resistance to talk with their star running back until he reports to camp. Johnson has indicated he won’t return to his team until his current contract, which was revised last season, is done.

 

Just by the numbers alone, Johnson certainly seems to be worth the upgrade in pay. He has rushed for 4,598 yards and 34 touchdowns the last three seasons, while also catching 137 balls for 1,008 yards and four more touchdowns.

 

For his efforts, the Titans want to make him the highest paid running back, surpassing the $10.2 million Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson will make this season before becoming a free agent. They also want to exceed the $21 million in guaranteed money Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams received this offseason.

 

Johnson made just $2.05 million last season after receiving a $1.5 million bump in his original contract.

 

Contact Terrance Harris at terrancefharris@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @Terranceharris

 

(Photo: AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

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