It appears as if the Chris Johnson saga is close to coming to a head.
According to NFL Media, the veteran running back was on his way to Tennessee as recently as Thursday night to meet with Titans general manager Ruston Webster. During the meeting, Johnson is expected to be released.
Johnson will undergo a physical with the Titans Friday morning, per the report, and there is a good likelihood he fails it since he underwent a cleanup procedure in his knee two months ago. If and when he fails the physical, Tennessee can release Johnson under the “failed physical designation.”
If the Titans retain Johnson, they will owe him about $8 million. If they opt to release him, it will cost them just $1.05 million.
The team expected to make a push for Johnson is the New York Jets. According to reports in March, the Jets have kept on eye on the former 2,000-yard back throughout the offseason in hopes of landing Johnson to add a backfield that already includes Chris Ivory. New York is well-positioned financially with about $35.7 million available in cap space for the upcoming season, the second-most in the NFL.
For a few weeks, the Jets and Atlanta Falcons were the only teams mentioned as potential suitors for Johnson, and the Falcons have since bowed out of the race. On Friday, two more teams emerged.
The Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants have both inquired about Johnson since he was reportedly placed on the trade block back in March, according to FOX Sports.
The Cowboys have about $12.8 million remaining in cap space for the 2014 season. The team is set with DeMarco Murray headlining its backfield with Lance Dunbar and Joseph Randle as his backups. Murray, though, has had issues staying on the field in recent seasons.
The Giants’ running game was among the league’s worst in 2013, as injury plagued former first-rounder David Wilson and a backfield of Andre Brown, Brandon Jacobs, and Peyton Hillis struggled behind poor offensive line play. This offseason, the team inked Rashad Jennings and re-signed Hillis, and has about $3.1 million in cap room remaining.