The Titans announced that they have released running back, Chris Johnson, amid earlier reports that he may have garnered trade value.
BREAKING: The #Titans have officially informed RB Chris Johnson he’s being released, per sources. The C.J. era is over in Tennessee.— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) April 4, 2014
While it may be a while before the scars heal among Titans fans for CJ's unwillingness to restructure his bloated deal despite several years of mediocre production, things already look better for all parties involved. Both get their wish; Johnson gets a new team, and the Titans recoup some money and can move on to the future without a $10 million monkey on their back.
The artist formerly known as CJ2K will be remembered for the 2008 and 2009 campaigns in which he was arguably the league's most dangerous back, and certainly it's fastest. In that 2009 season he rushed for 2,006 yards and set the league record for yards from scrimmage in a season with 2,509.
One of his most memorable games as a Titans was this game in 2009 against the Jaguars when he ran for 229 yards and 2 touchdowns. Maurice Jones-Drew also went crazy in that game. The Titans came out on top in that game 30-13.
This move makes the most sense for the Titans, but it does leave them with a hole at running back. Shonn Greene is a nice complimentary back, but they need to find a guy that can break off some big runs as well as contribute in the passing game. They will probably look to add that guy in the draft.
[UPDATE]- Here is the statement released by Titans GM Ruston Webster:
"As an organization, we want to thank Chris for his contributions to the Titans. Chris produced many memorable moments, broke franchise records and was durable over his six year career with our team.
We have had an open dialogue with Chris’ agent, Joel Segal, over the last few weeks, and we appreciate the patience and professionalism they have shown throughout this process. We made an effort to trade Chris but were unable to do so.
We wish Chris the best and thank him for the six seasons he spent with us."