Titans vs. Johnson gets more complicated

It’s the nature of a holdout for things to get complicated and contentious.

The Titans and Chris Johnson are sticking to the formula.

General manager Mike Reinfeldt took public a pledge that the team will make Johnson the league’s highest-paid running back. But that’s a hazy designation that can be defined different ways by different people. And I believe Johnson’s not thinking of himself as the league’s top running back, but as one of the league’s top players.

And despite Reinfeldt’s public stance, there’s still been no offer to agent Joel Segal.

Said Johnson to Jim Wyatt:

“I am surprised,” about Reinfeldt’s “statement about offering to make me the highest-paid running back. Neither me nor Joel have received any offer from the Titans. Maybe they talked, but I guarantee we never received any offer.

"...I’m ready. I’m in great shape. I want to be there to help my teammates win. I want to play football. But I have to take care of business first.”

Wyatt does well examining the deals that could qualify as the biggest for running backs currently.

The Titans are going to have to go beyond those deals to put an end to this. And the longer Johnson’s not with them, the more the story will hover over the team. Especially if the preseason doesn’t start well.

Side note: Reinfeldt will be on "The Wake Up Zone" in Nashville at 8 a.m. CT. You can listen here.