Shonn Greene has earned his awful reputation, mostly because he’s bad at being a running back. Or more accurately, a starting running back who receives any carries of significance.
But he can still be a secondary option, which is exactly what the Titans need so desperately to keep Chris Johnson’s legs minty fresh. That’s why Greene has now officially been signed by Tennessee to a three-year deal worth $10 million after reports percolated earlier this morning.
Greene defines plodding. This past season was his second straight year with over 1,000 rushing yards, which sounds sort of alright until you see that he broke that barrier at a pace of just 3.9 yards per carry. He gained what was blocked, and rarely an inch more.
But whatever, right? Greene’s rumbling plodding will still complement Johnson just fine for a handful of carries every game, and keep CJ?K sufficiently rested and limber. The wildly inconsistent rusher has nearly 1,500 carries over five seasons, a high mark reached by topping the 300-carry plateau three times.
You’ll think that at first, and believe that maybe in small doses Greene will be just fine. And then you’ll stop with such silliness once you see how much guaranteed money Greene received.
Of that $10 million, $4.5 million is guaranteed for a running back who fell far below replacement level in his contact year. Combine that with Johnson’s tendency to disappear for long stretches (over the first five games of 2012 he had just 210 rushing yards, 141 of which came in one game), and the Titans backfield could be a place where dreams die.
Nearly every other available running back (like, say, Cedric Benson or Peyton Hillis) could have done the same complementing role — and much better — at nearly half the cost.
Inside the 5, Chris Johnson 6 carries, 1 TD, Jamie Harper 3 car, 3 TDs, Shonn Greene 19 car, 7 TD, Bilal Powell 5 car, 3 TDs
— Chet(@Chet_G) March 13, 2013