Titans RB Chris Johnson Wants New Contract Before Training Camp Starts

NFL owners and players hope to reach a new collective bargaining agreement that would allow training camp to open on time. If a deal is struck, Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean reports that the Titans shouldn’t expect running back Chris Johnson to show up until he receives a new contract.

Coming off a 2,000-yard season and a second Pro Bowl, Johnson threatened to hold out of last year’s training camp unless the team significantly increased what he was set to earn under the five-year, $12.08 million contract Johnson signed as the 23rd overall pick of the 2008 NFL Draft.

Due to the 30% rule governing extensions in the uncapped season, the Titans weren’t able to meet his demands–which Wyatt pegs at $30 million in guarantees–but renegotiated his deal on July 21, ten days before camp opened up.

In that re-negotiation, the Titans broke up the $2.5 million in base salary escalation that was available in 2012, giving Johnson half ($1.25 million) as a signing bonus and $235,000 in 2010 incentives. The remaining $1.015 million is available in escalators to his 2011 and 2012 salaries.

After another 1,300-yard season and a third straight Pro Bowl, the Titans can expect to have to pony up much more than the $2.775 million remaining on the final two years of Johnson’s deal to get him to camp on time.

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