Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson likes how his team's front office has handled free agency, especially how they beefed up their offensive line by signing guard Andy Levitre to a six-year, $46.8 million contract, but one move in particular does not get his full approval.
According to Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean, Johnson doesn't understand why the team signed free agent running back Shonn Greene to a three-year, $10 million contract.
"I have never been a big fan of the two-back system, so I don’t know how we plan on using him," Johnson said. "I’m not afraid of competition, but I was thinking we’d maybe get a draft pick for the other back. And you don’t give a guy that kind of money to be just a goal-line guy and in tough-yardage situations. So we’ll see what happens."
Johnson's response to the Greene signing is not surprising. No running back played a higher percentage of his team's offensive plays last season than Johnson, who official NFL playing-time documents show was on the field for 81.63 percent of the Titans' snaps last season. Johnson accounted for over 73 percent of the Titans' rushing attempts and rushing yards and had 44.8 percent of the team's rushing attempts and receptions last season.
"I’ll just roll with it. Of course I don’t want to carry the ball 30 or 40 times a game," said Johnson. "And I don’t mind a guy getting a carry or two. But if I am the main guy and it is supposed to be my team...it shouldn’t be an issue."
Greene's contract may have raised a few eyebrows, but an average per year (APY) of $3.3 million is slightly below the $3.5 million per year average that Michael Bush received from the Chicago Bears to be the No. 2 behind franchised running back Matt Forte last offseason. Bush ended up playing in less than 25 percent of the Bears' snaps in 2012, and while Greene could be in store for similar usage, Titans head coach Mike Munchak views the 226-pound Greene as an option on all downs.
"We’re not going to have him as a short-yardage back, a goal-line back and four-minute back and that’s all he does," Munchak told Alex Marvez of FOXSports.com. "We feel he can play all three downs. He may get a series where he gets going and we’re taking over the line of scrimmage and you want that runner in there and we leave him in there."
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