Agent: Johnson, Titans reviewing deal
Agent Joel Segal confirmed the deal Monday to The Associated Press.
Segal would not say how much of a raise Johnson is getting but did say the running back will get a pay increase. Johnson reportedly will earn $2.5 million this season under the revised deal.
Both sides are reviewing the contract, which could be signed within the next 48 hours. Some of his maximum $2.5 million escalator will be moved forward, and no new years will be added to the deal, a source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
"We're still talking through some issues," a source familiar with the process said Monday. "It's going to get done, but it's not done yet."
It's not the minimum $30 million in guaranteed money the AP 2009 Offensive Player of the Year had been saying he wanted after becoming just the sixth back to run for at least 2,000 yards in a season.
However, he no longer will be the lowest-paid running back on the Titans' roster, with a base salary of $550,000. The raise also will prevent him from missing training camp when the Titans report July 30 after he sat out the entire offseason in protest.
Profootballtalk.com first reported the deal.
The Titans declined to confirm the deal Monday, and Johnson did not respond to messages left on his cell phone by the AP. The avid tweeter also had posted only one message Monday, a rare drought for the running back.
Team officials had insisted Johnson was under contract for three more years and that rules in the league's labor agreement limited pay hikes to 30 percent and made it impossible to give Johnson a huge raise. Almost all of the money for a new, long-term deal would have been paid up front, which the Titans were not willing to do.
Johnson won the ESPY for breakthrough athlete last week and promised he would be happy with even a small raise for the short term.
"When they do something, I'll be proud to be there with my teammates," Johnson said Wednesday.
Johnson still wants a long-term deal, but for now he can focus on reaching his next goal -- Eric Dickerson's NFL rushing record of 2,105 yards set in 1984. Johnson came up just short with his 2,006 yards even as the Titans focused on trying to get him to the 2,000 mark in the final games of the 2009 season.
Johnson already ranks behind only Dickerson (3,318) and Edgerrin James (3,262) for the most yards in the first two years of a career with 3,234. Johnson also will be trying to match Barry Sanders' record of 14 consecutive 100-yard rushing games; he finished the 2009 season with 11 in a row.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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