News broke over the weekend that Chris Johnson was released after refusing to take a pay cut. Johnson went to school in the small school of East Carolina where he was voted Conference USA First team but didn’t reach national attention until he set a record breaking combine time of 4.24 in the 40 yard dash. This helped his draft stock to dramaticaly rise until he was selected by the Titans in the first round at number 24.
After that he only continued to blossom gaining 1228 yards and finishing 2nd in Rookie of the year voting behind Matt Ryan. This was nothing compared with his sensational sophomore season as he joined the exclusive 2000 yard club and earned the Moniker “CJ2K” after finishing the season with 2006 rushing yards on the season and record breaking 2509 yards from scrimmage. Known for his breakneck speed and ability to break off any run for a big and a constant threat he was considered to be at the top pantheon of running backs in the league.
He appeared to have a bright future ahead of him but he never did reach the same heights again but was no scrub either. He never gained more than 1400 yards in season but never rushed for less than a 1000 either. He signed a massive four year $55m deal back in 2011 which gave him a guaranteed $8m this year which when he wouldn’t take a pay cut the Titans felt was too much to pay for someone who got barely more than 1000 yards last year. Now that he has cleared the waivers the New York Jets appear to be the early favorites to sign him. He would be an interesting fit in New York to give Geno Smith to lean on in the run game and give him a good target on screens and out of the backfield. Whether he ends up in New York or not it will interesting to see if he can get back to his CJ2K days.
Update- Johnson signed a 2yr/$8m with the New York Jets