The Tennessee Titans have put running back Chris Johnson on the trade block, and Johnson has agreed to work with his salary as a way to lubricate a deal, according to multiple reports over the past month.
Now, from ESPN, comes word that there might be a deal to be made. It is reporting that there is interest in Johnson, and yet it's one of those nebulous stories where you wonder where the report is coming from. Are the Titans telling people there's interest? That would be in their best interest, right?
At this point, the "interest" could be teams calling to kick some tires and find out Johnson's hypothetical trade value. It's due dilligence at this point until proven otherwise.
Still, a la the New Orleans Saints with Darren Sproles, there was incentive to move on and clear salary from their books, so perhaps Johnson could be part of a trade — if that salary undergoes some surgery.
Let's assume there is a market. Where could Johnson end up? Here are a few teams that make sense:
New York Jets: They have a need for speed, and the current bodies at the position are better served ramming the hole inside. Johnson could help them open up things.
Cleveland Browns: Ben Tate is there, but the team wants to stockpile as many playmakers as possible. It certainly couldn't hurt whoever wins the quarerback battle, and Johnson's former offensive coordinator in Tennessee (QB coach Dowell Loggains) is on the staff there.
St. Louis Rams: Speaking of connections, there's the obvious one with Jeff Fisher. Zac Stacy appears to be the workhorse, but it's not as if Johnson couldn't find room on that roster, and St. Louis has been a sanctuary for several ex-Titans. Former second-rounder Isaiah Pead was supposed to be the speed back, but he has been relegated to special teams largely following his arrival.
Miami Dolphins: The team could make a value pick in the second or third rounds of the draft and get better bang for its buck, but the Dolphins are the kind of organization that typically does not shy away from making splashy "name" pickups. The Dolphins have a need here, with Lamar Miller failing to impress completely.
Oakland Raiders: Long live Al Davis. The former owner would have loved to snag Johnson and his 4.24 speed coming out, but if the Raiders made a play for him it would pair two interesting former first-rounders in the backfield, along with Darren McFadden. Another location you cannot rule out.