Chris Johnson: Talks can restart soon

Updated: August 7, 2010, 10:50 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Happy to be in training camp with a revised contract, Titans running back Chris Johnson says he's focused on the season ahead.

But his mind is on his money, too.

"I couldn't be in here mad. If I was going to come in here mad, I shouldn't have taken the little [money] they gave me,'' Johnson said Friday, according to The Tennessean of Nashville, of the compromise he reached with the Titans last month. "Basically I have to come in here and have a great year and get my history deal next year.

Johnson I feel like a lot of teams around the league would be willing to pay me, but I want to be here.

-- Titans running back Chris Johnson

"I felt like I deserved it this year, but ... I can say it won't happen again. This is the last time without me having a long-term deal. It's a must.''

Johnson, who in 2009 rumbled for an NFL-leading 2,006 yards, will be vying to become the first player to twice rush for 2,000 yards in a season.

Johnson said the Titans have assured him and his agent, Joel Segal, that talks on a new long-term deal could recommence in September, according to the newspaper.

"A couple of games into the season," he said in Nashville.

The NFL requires a year between contract renewals, so he wouldn't be able to sign a new deal until July 22, 2011.

Johnson stayed away from the Titans this offseason wanting at least $30 million in guaranteed money. With the NFL in the final year of the current labor deal, the Titans wouldn't do that. They did shuffle some money due in 2012 that Johnson already had earned with his play into his paycheck for 2010, resulting in a $1.5 million raise.

Johnson is entering the third year of a five-year, $12 million deal, which included a guaranteed $7 million.

"With my situation, you have to know who you are dealing with at the end of the day," Johnson said. "You are dealing with a team that is not known for [paying].''

The Titans have designed a few plays to take advantage of having Johnson in the same backfield with Vince Young, something that only happened in the final 10 games last season.

And Johnson is working with a new position coach after Kennedy Pola left July 24 for Southern California, leaving coach Jeff Fisher to promote Craig Johnson from quarterbacks coach to assistant head coach and running backs assistant.

"I feel like a lot of teams around the league would be willing to pay me, but I want to be here," Johnson said, according to The Tennessean. "And I feel like the way we worked it out for me to come this year, they pretty much know already I should have a deal next year. I know there is nothing I can do now. I just have to wait 'til next year.''

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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