Last season, Johnson put up the fifth-highest, single-season rushing-yardage total in NFL history (2,006 yards) and led his team in receptions with 50 catches. And for those deeds, Johnson will earn the princely sum of $550,000 in base salary in 2010. Johnson did receive a $3.86 million roster bonus in 2009, but the numbers still don't add up. The Titans are holding back from raising Johnson's salary with three years left on his contract, because they don't want to set a precedent for their other players. And it's easy to see their point, but how many of their current players are going to run for over 2,000 yards in a single season and set every highlight film afire?
After telling the Nashville Tennessean that he wasn't mad at the organization for refusing to restructure, Johnson, who hasn't participated in any offseason activities, took his case to Twitter on Tuesday:
Its like how u expect ur players to give they all and put their bodies on the line when you not willing to give them what they deserve
How do u wnt player 2 honor their contract but the team dont have 2 honor it. If u dont wnt 2 pay a player early dont cut a player early.
(Note to those who are bashing Johnson for his grammar -- Twitter has a 140-character limit per post. People abbreviate. Deal with it.)
Johnson has a valid case, compressed by the machinations of social media as it may be. But it's a bad time to be an underpaid player — with the vagaries of a CBA-less salary structure and a possible lockout looming on the horizon, team owners are alternating between feudal compensation standards and abject financial fear. Unfortunately for Johnson and other players who have drastically outperformed their contracts, these factors don't look to change anytime soon.