Tennessee Titans reportedly prepared to release Chris Johnson after this season

Anwar S Richardson

Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson capitalized on being one of the NFL’s top players when he signed a four-year deal worth $53.5 million in 2011.

Unfortunately, for the Titans, it was a total waste of money.

Johnson reportedly received $30 million in guarantees, but never lived up to that contract. As a result of his mediocrity, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports Johnson will be released after this season.

There is a good reason why.

Johnson rushed for 2,006 yards and 14 touchdowns, plus had 502 receiving yards and two touchdowns, in 2009. Some NFL observers believed Johnson was better than Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson after that season, and the Titans seemingly had a running back that was a difference maker.

Instead, Johnson rushed for 1,364 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2010, and after holding out for a new contract, he had 1,047 rushing yards and four touchdowns in 2011. The mediocrity continued when Johnson compiled 1,243 rushing yards and six touchdowns in 2012. He currently has 774 rushing yards and four touchdowns through 12 games this season. Johnson is also averaging a career-low 3.8 yards per carry.

In addition, Rapoport said the Titans could be in a market for a new quarterback, and mentioned Jay Cutler as a possible candidate. Cutler is a free agent after this season, and it is unclear if the Bears will attempt to re-sign him.

It appears a lot of changes might occur in Tennessee after this season, and Johnson could be the first person out of the door.

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Anwar S Richardson is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at NFLAnwar@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!