Posted March 13, 2013

Shonn Greene to sign with Tennessee Titans

NFL Free Agency, Tennessee Titans
Shonn Greene

Shonn Greene rushed for a career-high 1063 rushing yards in 2012 with the Jets. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

One of the Tennessee Titans’ priorities this offseason was to find a back that could shoulder some of Chris Johnson’s burden in the run game. They did that Wednesday. Whether they found the right guy at the right price for that role, however …

Tennessee reportedly reached an agreement with ex-Jets running back Shonn Greene on a three-year, $10 million contract that includes $4.5 million in guaranteed money. Greene, 28 in August, topped 1,000 yards on the ground each of the past two seasons with New York, but he needed 253 carries in 2011 and 276 in 2012 to get it done. That worked out to yards-per-attempt marks of 4.2 and 3.9, respectively. Greene also does not have a carry of longer than 36 yards yet in his career.

In other words, he was out of place as a No. 1 running back — especially on a team that, at least in theory, predicated its attack on a stout ground game.

Greene may be better suited to a change-of-pace runner. And that’s what Tennessee likely will ask him to do as a sub for Johnson, mainly in short-yardage and goal-line situations.

That’s all well and good. Except Greene’s contract almost begs him to do more. Consider that the Lions, earlier Wednesday, handed Reggie Bush a deal worth $4 million annually; Greene’s numbers come in at about $3.33 million per year.

Greene’s situation improved in just about every possible way with his migration from New York to Tennessee. But could the Titans have found a similar back in the draft for a much lower price?

Grade: C. Greene may be better than the Jets made him look, and he definitely looks the part of a grinder to complement Johnson’s all-around game. Still, even for a team with plenty of cap space, this is too much money.

1 comments
Mai Wang
Mai Wang

Greene was a league leading 11 for 11 in 3rd down conversions when it was 3rd and short. What did any of CJs back ups do on 3rd downs? This isn't a bad signing and I think even though CJ is mad now, he need only think back to LenDale White and he sharing a back field and remembering that it worked well. With the vastly improved run blocking already in house and a soon to be drafted guard, the Titans may end up with one of the top o lines in the NFL and they will be relatively young.