Sources have indicated to TitanInsider that the Tennessee Titans are now close to striking a deal with holdout running back Chris Johnson on a contract extension.
Multiple sources used the word “close” in regards to the talks between the Titans and Johnson's agent Joel Segal, regarding bringing an end to the holdout that has lasted since the start of training camp in late July.
Barring setbacks, a deal could happen in the next 24 to 48 hours. Earlier this week, Titans coach Mike Munchak said the deal probably needed to get done by this weekend in order for Johnson to be able to contribute fully in the season opener in Jacksonville on Sept. 11.
Another league source indicated to TitanInsider that there was “definite movement” in the talks which reportedly picked up again Tuesday and Wednesday after a face-to-face meeting last week in Nashville proved mostly unproductive.
Johnson and his camp had wanted to be paid like an “elite playmaker,” while the Titans had said early on during the holdout they were willing to make Johnson the highest-paid running back in the NFL. In terms of base salary, Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings is scheduled to make $10.72 million this year, while Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams received $21 million in guarantees as part of a $43 million package.
Though no concrete numbers have yet surfaced in the negotiations, it is believed that Johnson could receive somewhere in the range of $12 million per season on average.
Johnson currently has a base salary of $1.065 million for 2011 in a rookie contract that does not expire until 2012.
Efforts to reach the Titans and agent Joel Segal were unsuccessful.