The Titans and Chris Johnson continue to negotiate a long-term deal, according to league sources.
The sides remain in close contact and are working toward a deal that would end the three-time Pro Bowl running back”s holdout in time for him to participate in the regular-season opener on Sept. 11.
The sides were at a stalemate after a face-to-face meeting last week, but conversations continue to the point where momentum toward a new deal could build considerably by the weekend, if not sooner.
The Titans placed Johnson on the reserve/did not report list Monday, an administrative move that doesn’t impact contract talks with Johnson, who has missed all of training camp during his holdout. Johnson has two years left on his current deal and is scheduled to make $800,000 this season.
Johnson has been seeking to get paid as an elite playmaker — akin to what top receivers or pass rushers might earn in this market. There has not been a big-money contract completed for a running back for quite some time and that market has become more stagnant.
Ultimately, Johnson’s deal might end up including $30 million in guaranteed money (running back DeAngelo Williams got $21 million guaranteed from Carolina this offseason) with an average per year value around $10 million. Johnson’s agent, Joel Segal, had been seeking a deal in excess of those amounts, but with Michael Vick, another Segal client, just getting $36 million guaranteed in his new deal, agreed to Monday, I’m not sure Johnson ends up getting in that stratosphere.
The compromise could be around $30 million guaranteed, with the majority of that money payable in the first two years of the deal.