A lot has came out of the recent release of former Tennessee Titans star running back Chris Johnson. One large piece of information that has surfaced recently was the Buffalo Bills interest in acquiring Johnson. According to many reports given by Ian Rapoport and Adam Schefter, the Bills were one of a few teams to inquire about the cost of the Titans superstar. According to ESPN, The Bills were one of the finalists and had the strongest offer. The other teams to inquire were the Atlanta Falcons, Miami Dolphins, and The New York Jets. Since these potential trade talks, Miami has signed Knowshon Moreno. The Atalanta Falcons have expressed no interested in signing the recent free agent, and the Jets are not interested in spending too much money to bring him in. What does that mean? The Bills and Jets might be the only teams interested, unless of course a surprise teams comes in late to the show. The Cowboys, Giants, and Rams are said to have no interest as well.
What could we have offered already? I am guessing around a 5th round pick, with a stipulation of the Titans to take on some salary or more dead cap space. I would have to think that the Titans found it more lucrative to their cap and future cash flow to not take on any dead cap space, as Chris Johnson’s contract has already ran out of its guaranteed money.
The Bills did not want to take on the remaining three year 29 million dollar deal. The current market is maxed out around Ben Tate’s contract. 2 years 6.2 million.
I think a two year 8 million dollar deal could be realistic for Johnson. However, I would want him to be signed to a 3-4 year deal. We will have to see what the open market commands. If its just the Bills and Jets? There might not be a huge bidding war. The Jets might have the more lucrative opportunity for playing time though.
Lets take a look at Chris Johnson’s career stats:
As we can see, Johnson has accumulated almost 8,000 yards on the ground and 50 touchdowns. He has also added 2,000 yards receiving and 8 touchdowns via the air. Still to me as an avid analyst, the most impressive thing is his durability. He has missed only 1 game since coming into the league, and that came in his rookie year. This could come to great importance to any offensive coordinator needing to use the same game plan, a coordinator who loves to run the rock, and a coach who values strength and battling. Does this sound like anyone we might know?
Just take a look at him at his best:
This speaks for itself. He is a player who can change the game with one carry.
The Perfect Fit:
The Bills currently have the fast CJ Spiller, the heart and sole Fred Jackson, and recently signed short yardage back Anthony Dixon. A theory of mine regardless if we continue to pursue Johnson or not is simple; Spiller may not be in our plans past this season. The Bills may have already contacted the agent to CJ Spiller and did not like what they heard. Is Spiller looking for a 7-8 million dollar deal like Chris Johnson once signed? Spiller and Jackson being on the last year of their contracts really sparks some interest for the Bills to look into other avenues.
This is where Chris Johnson and the Buffalo Bills could fit in nicely. He might be the dynamic back that CJ Spiller is, just on a better deal.
How can we forget that Johnson has almost three times the yards, and four times the touchdowns that Spiller has? CJ2K is only one year older as well. He could have 4 years of good football left in him.
Would this open the door for Spiller to be traded for draft picks as well as a running back to be selected in this years draft? Quite potentially. If we know one thing about this regime it is that they are making aggressive moves to be better. We might as well not lose anything talent wise by signing Johnson, but gain draft picks in trading Spiller.
If Johnson has a troubled past, that should hardly be a problem. Marrone has taken it on himself to lead a winning team that is full of talent but might have questionable character. If we can take on Mike Williams, we can pretty much take on any skilled player available.
What do you think? Would you trade Chris Johnson and potential draft picks for CJ Spiller?
Chris Johnson signed for 3 years at 12 million and a third round pick?
CJ Spiller signed for 4 years at 28 million?