The Tennessee Titans are expected to release former 2,000-yard rusher Chris Johnson, the Nashville Tennessean reported Thursday.
During general manager Ruston Webster’s press conference introducing new head coach Ken Whisenhunt, he was non-committal in addressing the veteran back’s future.
Johnson is set to earn $8 million in 2014, making him the highest-paid player on the team. It took Johnson to the 16th and final game of the season to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark. Johnson has stated previously he is not willing to accept a pay cut to remain in Tennessee. He said he would like to be featured more heavily in the offense, while the team opted to utilize second-stringer Shonn Greene more often when he was healthy.
Since rushing for 2,006 yards and 14 touchdowns in the 2009 season, Johnson has posted 1,000-plus-yard seasons in each of the past four seasons and a combined 19 touchdowns. He has played in all 16 games every year of his career except for his rookie campaign in 2008.
However, his 100-yard rushing performances have dwindled over time. He did it twice in 2013, averaging a hair more than 67 yards per game.
Johnson did have one of his better seasons as a receiver out of the backfield, though, hauling in 42 passes for 345 yards and a career-high four receiving touchdowns.
According to the report, the Titans will likely draft or find a free agent back with a similar skill-set to that of Johnson to compliment Green. As for Johnson, he’ll likely find a new home elsewhere without ease, though he may not be a featured back as he would like to be.