View Full Version : Future of Larry Johnson still cloudy

04-26-2007, 05:54 AM
By Adam Schefter
NFL Analyst

Adam Schefter's "Around the League" reports and commentaries can be seen regularly on NFL Total Access.

(April 24, 2007) -- Of all the running backs available on draft day, none is any better than Larry Johnson, who is on the trade block, multiple NFL sources confirmed Tuesday.

The Kansas City Chiefs are dangling Johnson out there, seeing if they can entice teams to trade for the 27-year-old running back that has run for 3,539 yards and 37 touchdowns the past two seasons.

The Chiefs have spoken with the Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers, Tennessee Titans, Buffalo Bills and possibly others, but have not found anything close to a taker.

A Chiefs official insisted Tuesday that his team has not engaged in "specific" trade talks with any team. But it's a matter of semantics. They clearly have spoken in trade generalities with a number of teams, trying to gauge Johnson's value around the league and to their organization.

The reason the Chiefs are shopping Johnson is the exact reason that other teams are leery about trading for him.

Johnson is heading into the last year of his contract and is seeking a new deal that would eclipse the eight-year, $60 million contract given to San Diego running back LaDainian Tomlinson two years ago, before the NFL's salary-cap increased 36 percent. With the salary-cap skyrocketing, so is Johnson's asking price, and rightfully so.

But any team that trades for Johnson would have to satisfy the running back's asking price as well as the Chiefs', a difficult double play to pull off. One NFL general manager went as far as to say that Johnson was "untradeable -- who will pay that contract demand?"

Ultimately, maybe it will be the Chiefs, who continue to talk contract extension with Johnson in the hopes that the two sides can reach a peaceful resolution before training camp.

But to hedge their bets that they won't, the Chiefs are actively seeking to pick a running back on the first day of the draft. In the past week, they've hosted visits with California's Marshawn Lynch, Ohio State's Antonio Pittman, Florida State's Lorenzo Booker and Louisville's Kolby Smith. They've even told some of the players' agents that they plan to pick a running back high.

It is just one more sign that Johnson's future with the team is, for the time being, uncertain. Most NFL personnel people believe it is a long shot that the Chiefs will wind up trading Johnson within the next week, but it can no longer be overlooked.

04-26-2007, 05:58 AM
If the Chiefs asked for a 1st it's a no go because of how much money he wants.