FOXBORO, Mass. — Contract disputes are the norm in the NFL. But when one of the league's best players is also one of its most underpaid players, eyes tend to gravitate toward that direction, particularly when said player has voiced his displeasure with the organization's money skimping.
Titans running back Chris Johnson had an NFL-record 2,509 yards from scrimmage in 2009 and he led the league with 2,006 rushing yards. Yet, Johnson is only in the third season of his five-year, $12 million rookie deal, and he'll earn a base salary of $550,000, which is $80,000 shy of his backup, Alvin Pearman.
Because of this, Johnson hasn’t reported to any of Tennessee's voluntary offseason workouts, and there's no telling when he'll show up in Nashville.
While Patriots tight end Alge Crumpler was speaking about the Titans, whom he played for during the last two seasons, he touched on Johnson and hinted that he hopes the contract dispute gets resolved.
"We had a young running back that we could rely on in Chris Johnson, who is a special young kid," Crumpler said. "I'm only focused on the Patriots now, but just the time that I spent with him, I don’t know what everybody's perception is other than he's fast. He's better than just fast. He's a good running back, inside and outside, catching the football, a good quiet guy in the locker room. It's weird. People may see his dreads or his teeth, but that’s far from it. He is a great individual, a great player, and I'm looking forward to him getting back into that organization and doing some things."