Chris Johnson was back at Baptist Sports Park, calling the holdout he had with the Tennessee Titans a “family argument” that left no hard feelings between himself and the team.
Chris Johnson is ready for football after signing a four-year extension worth $53 million with $30 million guaranteed in the first three years.
“It was kind of like a family argument situation. There was no bad blood, no hard feelings. We weren't really seeing eye-to-eye,” Johnson said. “But if we just keep talking, we'll get to that point. Through us keeping talking we got to that point and now we have a great situation.”
Johnson agreed to a four-year extension that is worth a total of $53 million with $30 million guaranteed, all in the first three years of the contract.
Johnson said there is no doubt that he will be playing in the season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 11, and will be busy in the playbook over the next few days learning Chris Palmer's offense.
“They gave me this contract, so I'm pretty sure I'm playing,” said Johnson, who had been absent since the start of camp. “I stayed in close contact with Javon Ringer, so I don't think it will be as hard to pick up the offense as a lot of people think it will.”
In terms of expectations that now come with being the NFL's highest-paid running back, Johnson said it won't be a problem.
“I came in my second year and rushed for 2,000 yards and everybody expected me to do it again, so I don't think expectations can be any higher than that,” he said.
Johnson said that during his holdout, other players who had held out in the past – Rams running back Steven Jackson and New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis – prepared him for how things would be once the lockout ended and players he had been working out with reported to their respective teams.
“I talked to a couple of people, people like Steven Jackson who went through the situation,” he said. “I talked to Darrelle Revis and they kind of prepped me on it. They said it's gonna be hard. It's gonna get lonely because everybody else is doing their thing and you're just sitting at home by yourself or whatever. They were calling me seeing how I was doing.”
Johnson mostly stayed under control, although the day before the contract was completed a tweet jumping on what he termed “fake Titan fans” created quite a stir. He later said it was from people sending him racist comments.
“I would never call Tennessee fans fake. I love my Tennessee fans. It was just a situation. People were trying to take my situation and their situation and compare them,” Johnson said. “On the tweet I sent, it was just a lot of fans out there who were claiming they were Tennessee fans, but they were saying a lot of racial things to me and a lot of disrespectful things. Those were the fans I was calling fake.”
Now, Johnson is back in the Titans fold for real, and much richer in doing so. Never one to shy away from goals – even saying he would run for 2,000 yards and that he wanted $30 million, Johnson said his goals now are more team oriented.
“We haven't been to the playoffs in two years. I want to get back to the playoffs. Hopefully, we'll win the Super Bowl here. We haven't been in the postseason. That's the big thing this team has done. And I've always got the goal to rush for 2,000 yards again,” he said.
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