Reports say that the Tennessee Titans and running back Chris Johnson agreed to revise his contract yesterday. The revision in Johnson’s contract will provide him a salary increase from his scheduled 2010 amount of $550,000 to between $2,000,000 and $2,500,000. This might not have been the long-term deal Johnson was hoping for, but appear to be enough to get him on the field. Concerns about Johnson’s hold out definitely put fear in the hearts of Tennessee Titans fans. Johnson was the team’s leading receiver, in addition to running for over 2,000 yards last season. The Titans’ offense looks to be in much better shape with Johnson seemingly ready to report to camp when it begins on July 30th. Second year man Javon Ringer was next in line to fill the huge hole the loss of Johnson would have left. Reports are that Ringer appears ready for additional work this season, but his lack of experience (only six carries in his NFL career) left Titans fans with lots of uncertainty and worry.
The Titans’ offense ran through Chris Johnson and many doubt that Vince Young is ready to lead the team on his own. The Titans’ core receivers remained intact with Justin Gage, Kenny Britt and Nate Washington returning to the wide receiving corps. Reports that Lavelle Hawkins has looked great in workouts and OTAs have many believing he will be a bigger part of the offense this season. The tight end position seems to be in good shape, as well. Bo Scaife leads the way after his 45 receptions in 2009. Craig Stevens, Jared Cook and Sean Ryan will compete for time at tight end behind Scaife. Cook, who the Titans had high hopes for due to his athleticism after drafting him out of South Carolina, hopes to have a bigger impact in 2010 after having only 9 receptions in his rookie campaign in 2009.
With the apparent agreement in place with Johnson, Titans fans can now shift their worry to other areas of concern, the linebacker and cornerback position. Cortland Finnegan has one cornerback slot locked down, but who the other starter will be is still up in the air. Ryan Mouton, Jason McCourty and Tye Hill appear to be competing for that spot. At linebacker, concerns over David Thorton’s health, Stephen Tulloch’s hold out and Gerald McGrath’s suspension for the first four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy throw up red flags. With Johnson ready to rejoin the team, optimism says the problems on defense shouldn’t be as severe with their ability to score being back.