Titans running back Chris Johnson is only two seasons into the five-year, $12 million rookie contract he signed in 2008. But he already wants a big, big raise.
“I think I deserve to be the highest paid running back in the league, or even the highest paid offensive player besides the quarterback,” he said Monday. Johnson added that he won’t cause a public fuss about his demands, but says “hopefully, [the Titans] want that, too” when discussing a potential extension.
St. Louis’ Steven Jackson is currently the league’s highest paid running back.
Johnson is scheduled to receive $560,000 in 2010 salary. LenDale White, who Johnson has made irrelevant, collected $535,000 last season.
The sides have not begun talking about upgrading or extending Johnson’s contract, but the Titans may hesitate do so coming off a season in which Johnson led the league in carries.
Other than terrific production as a first- and second-year player, Johnson has little leverage. So it will be up to Titans G.M. Mike Reinfeldt to determine whether Johnson is worth committing a huge amount of money to as a third-year player. Tennessee controls Johnson’s rights through at least 2012.