NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans have told Chris Johnson they are releasing him after six seasons to avoid paying $8 million the running back is due in 2014, and the final three seasons left on the $53.5 million contract he signed in September 2011.
The Titans announced Johnson has been told he will be released Friday. The decision comes before they start their offseason program Monday with new coach Ken Whisenhunt.
General manager Ruston Webster said the Titans thank Johnson for his contributions, setting so many franchise records and being durable over his six seasons with Tennessee.
The Titans have been busy working to replace Johnson. They agreed with Dexter McCluster on a three-year deal at the start of free agency after signing Shonn Greene in March 2013. The Titans also re-signed Jackie Battle recently, along with reaching a one-year deal for kick returner and running back Leon Washington on March 11.
It didn't help that Johnson repeatedly said he wouldn't take a pay cut. The Titans didn't face a deadline that would have guaranteed the $8 million Johnson was due in 2014 until the first week of the regular season.
Johnson got that big contract in 2011 after holding out through the preseason, calling himself a playmaker who deserved to be paid. He does have the most touchdown runs of 80 yards or longer in NFL history with six -- twice the total of anyone else in a group including Adrian Peterson, Barry Sanders and O.J. Simpson. He also has 12 career TD runs of at least 45 yards, trailing only Sanders (18) and Jim Brown (13) in that category.
Bills acquire WR Mike Williams
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills have acquired receiver Mike Williams in a deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
It's a homecoming for Williams, who grew up in Buffalo and played at Syracuse under current Bills coach Doug Marrone.
The trade comes a little over a week after Williams ran into off-field trouble. He was allegedly stabbed in the leg by his brother, Eric Baylor, who has since turned himself in to police.
The Buccaneers signed Williams to a six-year, $40 million contract before last season. Injuries, however, limited him to playing just six games last year.
Seahawks extend Pete Carroll
SEATTLE -- The Seattle Seahawks have locked up coach Pete Carroll with a three-year contract extension after he led the franchise to its first Super Bowl title.
The Seahawks announced the extension Friday. Carroll's original five-year deal, signed with the team in January 2010, was set to expire after the 2014 season.
Carroll has proven his attitude and approach can work in the NFL during his third stint as a head coach at the pro level. He's preached competition with his players and it has shown with the emergence of stars like quarterback Russell Wilson and cornerback Richard Sherman.
Carroll is 38-26 in four regular seasons with Seattle and 5-2 in the playoffs. At age 62, Carroll is the second-oldest head coach in the NFL.