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  • We interupt the Vick threads to say-LJ rumors heat up

    (July 19, 2007) -- We interrupt the wall-to-wall Michael Vick coverage that is going to last all summer to present another football story.

    The biggest training camp battle isn't going to be between Kansas City quarterbacks Brodie Croyle and Damon Huard. It's going to be between Kansas City running back Larry Johnson and the Chiefs.

    Over the past month, the two sides have been on vacation, not having had any contract talks since around mid-June. But each side returned this week, the first contract proposal was sent to the Chiefs, and now the game within the game begins.

    Johnson is said to be dug in, entrenched, refusing to report to training camp until he has a new contract.

    The Chiefs believe Johnson already has a contract, which has one year remaining on it, scheduled to pay the running back over $1.9 million this season.


    Larry Johnson wants a deal similar to LaDainian Tomlinson's, but the Chiefs aren't budging.
    Johnson is seeking somewhere in the vicinity of $28 million in guaranteed money, which is an easy enough number to trace. Three years ago, San Diego gave running back LaDainian Tomlinson a deal that included $21 million in bonuses. Since then, the salary cap has increased about 35 percent, which would make the guaranteed money in Tomlinson's deal worth about $28 million. At this time, Johnson is unwilling to take much less.

    The Chiefs have countered with an offer of guaranteed money somewhere between $11 and $14 million, which is the bonus money paid to some of the game's other highest paid running backs, including San Francisco's Frank Gore, who received $14 million worth of guaranteed money last spring; Seattle's Shaun Alexander, who received $13.5 million worth of guaranteed money last year; Arizona's Edgerrin James, who got $11.5 million worth of guaranteed money last year; and New Orleans' Deuce McAllister, who landed $11 million worth of guaranteed money in his extension in 2005. At this time, the Chiefs are unwilling to pay much more.

    Johnson feels like the $1.9 million that he's scheduled to make this season -- a $1.7 million base salary, plus a $200,000-plus escalator he triggered in his contract from past performance -- is not enough of an incentive to come in and play when a severe injury could rob him of millions more. The potential lost wages are enough to keep away Johnson.

    Kansas City takes an opposite view. Johnson is scheduled to make more than $111,000 per game, wages he would lose if he has not reported. Plus, the Chiefs could opt to fine Johnson $14,000 each day he is not at training camp while also pursuing a pro-rated portion of his initial signing bonus that could amount to as much as $660,000. The potential lost wages could prove to be enough to bring back Johnson.

    Johnson thinks, correctly, that salaries from premium NFL players are skyrocketing. Just last week, Indianapolis showered $30 million in guaranteed money on defensive end Dwight Freeney. This offseason, defensive stalwarts such as linebackers Adalius Thomas and Joey Porter, as well as cornerback Nate Clements, each received at least $20 million in guaranteed money. Even Kansas City tight end Tony Gonzalez commanded an $18 million signing bonus just last year.

    The Chiefs know that while the "franchise" number for running backs this season is $7 million, it is projected to drop next season to $6.5 million, a number that indicates that running backs are not valued the way defensive ends and cornerbacks are.

    Right now the two sides are somewhere $14 million in guaranteed money apart. Neither is in a compromising mood. Should the staredown continue, speculation about a trade will increase. Green Bay, Tennessee and even the New York Giants each have questions at running back that Johnson would help answer. A trade is a possibility here, an outcome that could appease all sides.

    And really, I can blame LJ for wanting more than 1.9mil. He's a good RB, and deserves pay as such.

    If the Chefs are unwilling to pay him 11-14 mil in guaranteed money...KC may as well buh-bye to Larry....
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  • #2
    Originally posted by BroncFanIN
    (July 19, 2007) -- We interrupt the wall-to-wall Michael Vick coverage that is going to last all summer to present another football story.

    The biggest training camp battle isn't going to be between Kansas City quarterbacks Brodie Croyle and Damon Huard. It's going to be between Kansas City running back Larry Johnson and the Chiefs.

    Over the past month, the two sides have been on vacation, not having had any contract talks since around mid-June. But each side returned this week, the first contract proposal was sent to the Chiefs, and now the game within the game begins.

    Johnson is said to be dug in, entrenched, refusing to report to training camp until he has a new contract.

    The Chiefs believe Johnson already has a contract, which has one year remaining on it, scheduled to pay the running back over $1.9 million this season.


    Larry Johnson wants a deal similar to LaDainian Tomlinson's, but the Chiefs aren't budging.
    Johnson is seeking somewhere in the vicinity of $28 million in guaranteed money, which is an easy enough number to trace. Three years ago, San Diego gave running back LaDainian Tomlinson a deal that included $21 million in bonuses. Since then, the salary cap has increased about 35 percent, which would make the guaranteed money in Tomlinson's deal worth about $28 million. At this time, Johnson is unwilling to take much less.

    The Chiefs have countered with an offer of guaranteed money somewhere between $11 and $14 million, which is the bonus money paid to some of the game's other highest paid running backs, including San Francisco's Frank Gore, who received $14 million worth of guaranteed money last spring; Seattle's Shaun Alexander, who received $13.5 million worth of guaranteed money last year; Arizona's Edgerrin James, who got $11.5 million worth of guaranteed money last year; and New Orleans' Deuce McAllister, who landed $11 million worth of guaranteed money in his extension in 2005. At this time, the Chiefs are unwilling to pay much more.

    Johnson feels like the $1.9 million that he's scheduled to make this season -- a $1.7 million base salary, plus a $200,000-plus escalator he triggered in his contract from past performance -- is not enough of an incentive to come in and play when a severe injury could rob him of millions more. The potential lost wages are enough to keep away Johnson.

    Kansas City takes an opposite view. Johnson is scheduled to make more than $111,000 per game, wages he would lose if he has not reported. Plus, the Chiefs could opt to fine Johnson $14,000 each day he is not at training camp while also pursuing a pro-rated portion of his initial signing bonus that could amount to as much as $660,000. The potential lost wages could prove to be enough to bring back Johnson.

    Johnson thinks, correctly, that salaries from premium NFL players are skyrocketing. Just last week, Indianapolis showered $30 million in guaranteed money on defensive end Dwight Freeney. This offseason, defensive stalwarts such as linebackers Adalius Thomas and Joey Porter, as well as cornerback Nate Clements, each received at least $20 million in guaranteed money. Even Kansas City tight end Tony Gonzalez commanded an $18 million signing bonus just last year.

    The Chiefs know that while the "franchise" number for running backs this season is $7 million, it is projected to drop next season to $6.5 million, a number that indicates that running backs are not valued the way defensive ends and cornerbacks are.

    Right now the two sides are somewhere $14 million in guaranteed money apart. Neither is in a compromising mood. Should the staredown continue, speculation about a trade will increase. Green Bay, Tennessee and even the New York Giants each have questions at running back that Johnson would help answer. A trade is a possibility here, an outcome that could appease all sides.

    And really, I can blame LJ for wanting more than 1.9mil. He's a good RB, and deserves pay as such.

    If the Chefs are unwilling to pay him 11-14 mil in guaranteed money...KC may as well buh-bye to Larry....
    Interesting. Thanks for sharing. I think the chiefs and their fans knew this "stare down" was coming eventually. IMO, the chiefs are making a big mistake by not signing this guy long term. He's easily a top 5 RB in this league, and he really should be paid like one. Things are heatin up in KC!!!!
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    • #3
      Hmmm. Green Bay, NY Giants, Tennessee, Dallas or my sleeper, Detroit.

      I do not blame Johnson at all. Nearly 2 million for being neck and neck with Tomlinson is peanuts. What else can he do? It's a business.

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      • #4
        Larry Johnson deserves his money,its a shame KC wont pay tha man.I wish we had Larry J.

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        • #5
          He's getting banged up continuously and carrying ther team and they don't want to pay him, thats just ridiculous.

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          • #6
            The amount that the Chiefs are paying LJ compared to those of other elite RBs is horrible. I think he definetly deserves it, although I can't say I can complain about the Chiefs GM's blindness here.

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            • #7
              Well he did sign the first contract, but yeah they should pay the man.

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              • #8
                like i've said before, i'd rather johnson stays, and they remain as mediocre as they are now and waste money on him, rather than trading, getting picks, and paying another back less and rebuilding.
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