Chris Johnson is somewhat of an enigma. Drafted in 2008 with the 24th overall pick by the Tennessee Titans, Johnson literally burst onto the scene. I had a friend approach me before the draft asking me whether I had heard about this kid out of East Carolina. I had to be honest with him, "Has anyone ever heard of a kid coming out of East Carolina?" I had a very delicious piece of humble pie for that one. In Johnson's rookie season he rushed for 1,228 yards, good enough for 8th in the league. The next year was incredible. Johnson became one of six (now seven including AP) players to eclipse the 2,000 yard mark. Only two of those six managed to do it in fewer carries than him. Johnson also amassed 503 receiving yards, which was enough to beat Marshall Faulk's single-season yard from scrimmage record.
After that season Johnson people feel that he fell off, "He's just gone the way of Shaun Alexander and Larry Johnson." Yes his numbers dropped every year, but he still did okay. Having earned the nickname CJ2K and proclaiming he would break Dickerson's (we should all know his first name, let's be honest) rushing record, people had high hopes for CJ2K in the 2010 season. He didn't quite live up to expectations having only totaled 1,364 rushing yards by seasons end. Thirteen hundred yards is nothing to shake a stick at, but after coming within 99 yards of the great Dickerson, people started asking questions. Which, to be honest, were not really merited at all and for the cherry on top, head coach Jeff Fisher was canned.
Since that "down" season, Johnson has still managed to get 1,000 yards every season since, but for some reason people think he is no longer "good." The Titans don't think he is bad, but they certainly aren't willing to pay him $8 million.
His releasing could be a blessing in disguise. There is a team out there who has a big bruiser back and could really benefit from home run hitter in the back field. Johnson's best years came with LenDale White splitting carries with him, smash and dash they called it. Johnson also had his best three years under Fisher who is now the head coach of that team.
The St. Louis Rams are a young team with a young offense. Bringing in a six-year veteran back could help that offense a whole lot. People are saying Johnson needs to go somewhere with a veteran core that could motivate him to work hard. I think he needs to go to the coach who HAD him motivated to work hard. Give him a one-year show me what ya got contract and see what Fisher can do with him. A healthy Sam Bradford and a consistent running game is what is keeping the Rams from taking it to the next level in a competitive NFC West.