Update: RB Larry Johnson is seeking around $28 million in guaranteed money, while the Chiefs have countered with an offer of between $11 and $14 million guaranteed, NFL Network’s Adam Schefter reports.
What’s going to happen: Johnson deserves more than the $1.9 million he’s due to make this year, but he and the Chiefs are still around $14 million apart, they are not even in the same ballpark (stadium) with this deal. Schefter writes that Johnson is “entrenched” in his stance, and won’t change his asking price until Kansas City’s offer is more in line with how he values his production. A long and grueling holdout remains a very likely possibility. My Opinion for 2007: This on-going saga it will be smooth for both parties (sides) and very easy to understand: Chiefs back Larry Johnson will play all 16 games in the Red â€˜n’ Yellow uni’s, with the K.C. Arrowhead insignia on his helmet. Johnson will play out this year and perform better than he did last season (1,789 yards and 17 touchdowns.) They will rely more on him this year. (more than 425 carries) Expect Johnson to definitely skip training camp and come back late during pre-season, taking the same approach of Bears LB Briggs and Patriots CB Samuel. He will end all/any spectulation or likelihood of sitting out for a duration of the NFL season. All doubts, possibilites, and chances of him suiting up another team, playing in another city other than Kansas City is very remote and is a definite longshot.
Beyond ’07: Johnson will then receive a huge deal from K.C. next year after he shows ’em he’s worth all the cash he demands, playing like the best RB in the NFL not named LaDainian.
Worth to the Team: The Chiefs need him more than the San Diego Chargers need Tomlinson because they have no back-up for him (Michael Bennent) and they have a QB (Brodie Croyle) whose last game starting was under center for the â€˜Tide sporting the Crimson duds with no name on the back of the jersey in Tuscaloosa. (Alabama)
Team’s stance: The Chiefs are right with how they’re handling the situation because there is no way Johnson’s going to get traded and he will not hold out during the regular season, missing valuable game time action. To keep him this year under the same contract is smart for now… at least. Where he stands as a RB: He doesn’t deserve what Tomlinson is making and maybe should not be considering in the same breath with L.T. yet, but the Chiefs have to consider that they own no viable option in replacing him, their RB depth chart is shot after L.J. – so they’ll have to pay him what he wants sooner or later (probably the ladder-end.)
Finally: In ’07, Johnson will suit up for the Chiefs for another year, that won’t be this last, stepping onto the playing field hungrier than ever.