FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Titans RB Chris Johnson wants to be the highest-paid offensive player in the NFL, but he isn't demanding a new contract, he indicated at Super Bowl XLIV.
Johnson, who was honored as the 2009 FedEx Ground Player of the Year in the week before the Super Bowl, said he's leaving negotiations in the hands of agent Joel Segal. "Hopefully, (the Titans will) come to him and want to give us one," he said of a new deal. Johnson, a first-round pick in 2008, has three years left on his contract.
However, Titans head coach Jeff Fisher, in an interview with Nashville radio station 104.5 FM, said that it would be "premature" to say the club would be willing to rework Johnson's deal before it expires.
At the Super Bowl, Johnson praised Fisher and credited his coach for some of his success. Johnson claimed that before the season finale at Seattle, Fisher told the team that helping Johnson, then 128 yards short of 2,000, make a run at history was the primary goal, with the Titans having been eliminated from postseason contention.
"I don't know if he wants me to say this, but the whole game plan was to get me 2,000 yards," Johnson said. "And he had a meeting with the whole team, and he told us, 'We don't got (a) chance to make the playoffs, so us winning the game, it really don't matter. If it costs us to lose this game, me getting 2,000 yards, then we will do that."
Johnson, who rushed for 104 yards or more in each of his final 11 games, praised his blocking, too.
"My offensive line, they were great for me all year," he said. Then he joked, "I think they wanted me to get 2,000 yards more than I did because they thought there was going to be a car (for each of them) if I got 2,000 yards." All jokes aside, Johnson did buy his linemen watches and flew them down to the Pro Bowl in Miami.
Johnson racked up at least 24 carries in eight of his last 10 games, but he said the heavy workload wasn't going to lead to changes in his offseason training regimen.
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