This is the second in a series looking at each position. Chris Johnson 2013 Stats: 279 carries for 1,077 yards. 3.9 ypc avg. 6 TDs. Long 30T. 42 receptions for 345 yards. 8.2 ypr avg. 4 TDs. Long 66T. 3 Fum. Contract Status: CJ has a $10M cap hit next season with a $8M base. There would be $4M in dead money if he is released. 2013 Analysis: CJ finished 11th in rushing yards among NFL RBs. However, his 3.9 yards per carry ranked 32nd. CJ had more carries in '13 than he did in '12 but 166 fewer rushing yards and the worse yards per carry average of his career. However, he did see more production as a receiver than he did last season. A telling stat is that he only had five carries for more than 20 yards (17th ranked) which continues a steady decline in that category since '09 when he had 22 carries of 20 yards or more. A few other interesting stats is that he was the least productive from a yards per carry standpoint after his 20th carry (3.3 ypc avg) which is a dramatic drop from season's past. Before the Oakland game, CJ was averaging only 1.16 yards after contact. That ranked him 46th at the time. I was unable to find more current stats to see if that stat was improved later in the season. 2014 Outlook: CJ has already said he would not take a pay cut or a reduced role which makes it unlikely he's on the roster in 2014. However, the parting could happen in a variety of ways: 1. They could release CJ before March 11 so the team knows it has $6M to add to the pot entering free agency. This is the scenario I believe most likely to play out. Adding Kamerion Wimbley and David Stewart to the mix gives the Titans a whopping $14.8M to play with though there's quite a few holes to fill on the roster. This becomes more important if the Titans are going to make a play to keep Alterraun Verner before he's an UFA. 2. CJ is released on or just before April 7 when the Titans offseason workouts begin. Remember in '06 how the Titans were unwilling to risk Steve McNair working out because any season-ending injury would require the team to take a $24M cap hit? We know CJ has a clause which pays him to workout with the team but I don't see the Titans willing to risk an injury that would obligate them to pay his 2014 salary. If the Titans thought they maybe wanted to keep him, would they hang onto CJ up to April 7 to pressure him to restructure his contract since most top UFA RBs will be signed by then? I doubt it. Remember, hanging on to CJ after March 11 means the Titans have $6M less during the early part of free agency. 3. Though unlikely, CJ could be kept until after the draft. This gives Whiz & Co some insurance in case they don't get who they want in free agency or the draft but this would also mean CJ would be allowed to work out with the team and the Titans accepting a $8M risk. The Titans always fill a few holes after the draft with some free agents and would need to sign the draft picks and $6M would certainly cover that if they were to go this route. 4. Let's go crazy (and say Webster is as well) if the Titans hang onto CJ through training camp until final cuts which further decreases his value to other teams who likely have their RBs already in camp. The advantage here for the Titans is they might be able to get CJ to re-negotiate his deal if Whiz & Co wanted to keep him in a lessor role as fewer teams have the cap to sign him to a big contract at that point. It also gives the Titans more time to evaluate the RB talent they have in camp to be sure they have upgraded the position. The downside is the obvious distraction it'll create and the risk of injury to CJ. I pray to the football gods this doesn't occur. Shonn Greene 2013 Stats: 77 carries for 295 yards. 3.8 ypc avg. 4 TDs. Long 29. 6 receptions for 39 yards. 6.5 ypr avg. 0 TDs. Long 28. 0 Fum. Contract Status: Greene has a $2.3M base next season for a total of $3.23M cap hit. Releasing him would create $1.66M in dead money. 2013 Analysis: It was a very disappointing season for Greene who was injured in just his fourth carry of the season. No doubt a healthy Greene would have had a much bigger role in the Titans offense last season. Upon his return, he was productive in a couple of games but, surprisingly, wasn't as effective a RB in short yardage situations gaining only 0.8 ypc avg in third and less than 2. 2014 Outlook: Before last season, I think most could see Greene taking on 150-200 carries and putting up 600-800 yards in a split role with CJ. At 29, it's hard to see the Titans looking to make him the feature back entering the season. I think the decision whether or not Greene is the #2 next season is based on who ends up the #1. I suspect Whiz will want to find someone who contrasts with the style of his feature back. Jackie Battle 2013 Stats: 36 carries for 142 yards. 3.9 ypc avg. 1 TD. Long 37. 4 receptions for 36 yards. 9 ypr avg. 0 TDs. Long 24. 0 Fum. Contract Status: UFA 2013 Analysis: Battle raised a few eyebrows by trucking a couple of defenders this season as he stepped in as the #2 after Greene went down but did little else. 2014 Outlook: Battle won't be on the Titans roster in 2014. Collin Mooney 2013 Stats: 0 carries for 0 yards. 0 ypc avg. 0 TD. Long 0. 6 receptions for 32 yards. 5.3 ypr avg. 0 TDs. Long 22. 0 Fum. Contract Status: $495,000 base in 2014. 2013 Analysis: Was promoted when Quinn Johnson went to IR in training camp. Played in 12 games before a season-ending knee injury. Replaced with Quinn Johnson for the final four games. 2014 Outlook: I expect an open competition in camp for FB. Mooney should get a shot as will Johnson and possibly an UDFA or late-round pick who is a special teams beast. Opinion: This is another interesting situation for GM Ruston Webster and Coach Whisenhunt to work though this offseason. If silence is any indication, CJ is gone and it's only a matter of time. IMO, CJ isn't the right RB for the Titans and hasn't been for quite some time. His bread and butter was the long run (20+ yards) and that has diminished from 22 in '09 to 13 in '10, 11 in '11, 8 in '12 to only 5 in '13. Without the big gain potential, he's an average RB getting paid a playmaker's salary. I don't question his straight-line speed but his vision to find a seam, burst through the hole, ability to break a tackle and make people miss have clearly diminished over the last few seasons. Though he ran hard in the final two games, it didn't appear to be the case most of the season unless he saw massive holes. I won't hold CJ 100% accountable because the OL has struggled at points the last few seasons. No doubt his confidence in the OL was suspect. You can add scheme in the mix as well with OC Dowell Loggains' predictable run game. A parting of ways will likely be best for both CJ and the Titans. No doubt Greene was a disappointment last season with the early injury. I don't think he was close to being 100% until after a couple of games back and he still didn't overwhelm with the exception of a 19-carry game in Jacksonville. To his credit, his biggest load was 10 carries until that game. The last two seasons, Greene was most effective after his 20th carry. If I am Webster, I go ahead and show CJ the respect of releasing him soon and not allowing the distraction to begin. I go with a RB by committee approach by bringing in an affordable free agent like a Toby Gerhart, Rashard Jennings or James Starks to add depth and then look to draft a RB in the fourth or fifth round. There's even the chance of striking gold with a UDFA as they did Legarrette Blount. Thoughts?