Tennessee Titans Random Thoughts, Vol. II: Are You A Company Man?

Grant Halverson

Since the pilot episode of "Random Thoughts" was well received, the MCM network has decided to pick up the series for a season.

A little over a month ago I was blessed with my first appearance on the Music City Miracles Radio Show on Blogtalk Radio. MCM personality and head recruiter Dan Ariks had me on as a guest and it was my first time talking to the great August West.

The show topic that day (I had zero prep on) happened to turn towards running back Chris Johnson and fans perception in general of him. During our discussion which included Chris Johnson's holdout, August said something that made me raise an eyebrow. Things were moving too fast for me at the time to isolate the comment, but I'll bring it up now.

The comment was that CJ had done the Titans a favor for playing the year before his holdout at the rate he did.

The argument goes as follows: Player enters contract with team. If the player under-performs, he can be cut without finishing the contract receiving only the guaranteed money in said contract. If he over-performs, he's stuck in the original contract. He can attempt to renegotiate or withhold services until a new agreement is made.

Player holdouts usually divide fans into two camps. Those on the players side that say they should get what they can while they can, and those that fall more on the team side, and think the players should honor their original contract.

The nature of the relationship is simple. Both team and players need each other and therefore strike a delicate balance of what the "market" will bear for their symbiosis.

Back to the comments made in the radio show. If I remember correctly, the Titans accelerated about $2.5M in a restructured contract in 2010 for Chris Johnson also doing him a "favor". They could have let him sit at home and they would have both suffered.

The NFL players knowingly and willingly enter into the contracts they are given. While I have no qualms with a player that has out performed his contract demanding a raise, I find it goes a bit far to say that it's the players doing favors for the teams.

Without turning into an economics class or political debate, where do you fall on the issue? Not just Chris Johnson, but hold outs in general as well. Are you a company man or a union guy?

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