Titans unlikely to re-do Chris Johnson’s contract this year

Chris Johnson wants to be the highest paid offensive player in the league, but based on recent comments made by Titans’ GM Mike Reinfeldt, CJ is going to have to wait a little longer before reaching his big payday.

From the Tennessean:

“Given the circumstances, I don’t think there’s the likelihood anything is going to happen,” Reinfeldt said. “You’re asking me definitely if he’s not going to get (a new contract). I’m not making any definitive statements. I just think he’s a pro and we expect him to honor his contract. Chris has always been a pro, and we expect that to continue.”

Reinfeldt again cited the 30 percent rule, but said the fact that Johnson is just two years into the five-year, $12 million contract he signed in 2008 is also an issue. The Titans haven’t made a habit of re-doing contracts after just two seasons.

The 30 percent rule, a byproduct of the league’s labor issues, stipulates a 30 percent maximum raise of the previous year’s base salary. Because the base salary would be restricted each year in a new contract, the Titans would be forced to pay Johnson guaranteed signing bonus money in the $40 million to $50 million range as part of a market-rate extension.

“There’s limitations on what we can do,” Reinfeldt said. “So it’s definitely an issue.”

Just based on comments made by Reinfeldt and Johnson’s teammates, it doesn’t appear that this will be a big issue. Johnson may wind up holding out until training camp, but you get the impression that he’ll show up later this summer as a sign of good faith.

But sooner or later, the Titans will have to pony up and pay their best player, who is highly underpaid by the way. They may wait to see if there’s a lockout in 2011, but at some point Johnson’s contract will be addressed.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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