From ESPN Insider Rumors section:
Chris Johnson's knee, FA prospects
January, 27, 2014
By Tom Carpenter | ESPN.com
It has been a long time since Chris Johnson came anywhere close to living up to the CJ2K moniker he earned back in 2009. Still, he has topped the 1,000-yard rushing mark every season of his NFL career, including 2013, when he had 1,077 yards on the ground. A large reason for his ability to rack up quality totals each year is he has proved quite durable, never missing a game due to injury in six seasons. To that point, it turns out that he battled through a knee injury for most of the 2013 campaign.
Johnson reportedly suffered a meniscus (knee) tear in Week 3 and played through it for the remainder of the season. He will have the injury repaired this week and is expected to be healthy by the time the free-agency market opens.
The Tennessee Titans are expected to cut ties with Johnson this offseason. He reportedly expects to be fully recovered from the procedure in 4-6 weeks, so his knee shouldn't be an issue if he does end up on the free-agent market.
Johnson would make for an interesting commodity as a free agent. His durability is a plus -- despite his knee injury, he scored 10 total touchdowns and tallied 100 combined yards in four games this season -- and he sported a 4.5 yards-per-carry average in 2012, so he would seem to have upside to offer. On the other hand, he'll turn 29 early next season, posted a career-worst 3.9 YPC mark in '13 and has 2,014 career touches' worth of wear and tear on his body, so the clock is ticking away on his NFL career.
We haven't heard of any specific teams rumored to be interested in Johnson just yet, but here are five teams that would at least make sense as potential landing spots, if he does indeed hit the free-agent market:
Oakland Raiders: All signs point to Darren McFadden walking away as a free agent during the offseason. Might the Raiders see Johnson as DMC's replacement? Surely they would like his durability after dealing with the frail McFadden. Rashad Jennings flashed potential this season, but he also will be a free agent. It wouldn't be outlandish to think that GM Reggie McKenzie would turn to Johnson over DMC or Jennings if the price is right.
St. Louis Rams: Johnson earned the "CJ2K" moniker when he and coach Jeff Fisher were still with the Titans, so there is a logical connection here. However, young Zac Stacy may have developed into a reliable every-down back this season, so the Rams might not be interested in Johnson unless it's to pair Johnson's open-space skills with human bowling ball Stacy.
San Diego Chargers: Ryan Mathews came on strongly in the second half of the 2013 season, but as usual, he got hurt and was a nonfactor in the playoffs. Say what you want about Johnson, but he is a durable player. Johnson catching passes from Philip Rivers out of the backfield could make for a nice combination if GM Tom Telesco likes Johnson better than Mathews, who carries a $3.6 million cap hit with no guaranteed money for 2014.
Miami Dolphins: The hope is that Lamar Miller will develop into a CJ2K-type of player. The trouble is that the Dolphins' O-line didn't block well for him, so it's difficult to tell just how good Miller really is. New GM Dennis Hickey has no ties to Miller, so he might be open to adding Johnson to the mix in order to give the Dolphins a proven playmaker in the backfield.
Atlanta Falcons: Steven Jackson isn't guaranteed any money after this season, so the Falcons could decide to move on without him. Johnson would seem to be a terrific fit in the Falcons' high-octane offense as the team gets some injured players back next season. In fact, on paper, Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Roddy White and CJ2K look like a potent quartet.
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.