Chris Johnson was once ranked as the NFL’s top halfback. Yet, after three straight mediocre seasons, the Tennessee Titans have seen enough.
According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, Tennessee is reportedly expected to cut Johnson at some point between now and next week.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 2, 2014
Johnson, who was shopped by Tennessee as early as Mar. 20, underwent an operation to repair a torn meniscus in January, and is owed an average of $13.5 million per season – per Spotrac – which may have shied suitors away from acquiring the former running standout.
Entering his seventh season in the NFL, Johnson has missed all but one game (2008), however, has endured a significant drop-off in production.
During his first three seasons, Johnson was a monster. Posting 4,598 rushing yards, 34 touchdowns, and six fumbles, his 2,006 yards on the ground in 2009 were the second-most by any running back in a single-season over the past 10 seasons, and set an all-time Tennessee Titans’ record for that category.
Despite having a dominating introductory to the NFL, Johnson’s last three seasons haven’t been anywhere near those numbers.
Compiling 3,367 rushing yards, just 16 touchdowns, and coughing up the rock eight times, it’s clear that Johnson’s lost a step. And now that there’s information indicating he went under the knife a few months back, Johnson’s next team is making a risky decision by adding his services.
Although there’s concern towards his recent production and surgery details, Johnson has potential to be a major contributor if he’s healthy for his new squad. Depending on where he lands – I personally think Atlanta would be ideal – Johnson could rekindle his early NFL days, and be a key component to a successful 2014-15 campaign.
But, right now, he’s soon to be jobless. And we’re starting to see a pattern develop amongst prolific running backs, in terms of being released.