Photo courtesy kcchiefs.com
Kansas City Chiefs running back Larry Johnson is looking for a new contract. And heâ€™s willing to boycott training camp to get one. But rather than try to wage a losing battle in contract negotiations with this fantasy favorite, the Chiefs should consider trading LJ while his stock is so high.
I like that LJâ€™s agent, Alvin Keels, made it clear that greed is not why they are looking for more money:
â€œThe point Iâ€™d like to get out is that if we were to have to hold out, it would be for the sake of good business, not being greedy. Itâ€™s not good business for a player who rushes the ball 416 times in a season, back-to-back Pro Bowl seasons, back-to-back 1,700-yard seasons, back-to-back broken Kansas City Chiefs records, itâ€™s not good business for him to come back in and play for $1.7 million. And thatâ€™s a sensitive area because $1.7 million is a lot more than most people in Kansas City make.â€
Even a premiere running backâ€™s shelf life in the NFL is shorter than at any other position. And at 27 years old, if LJ plays for longer than five more seasons Iâ€™d be surprised. Especially considering the number of carries he had last season, a record-setting 416. I know it might sound absurd to attempt to trade a player of this (current) caliber, but in whatâ€™s expected to be a rebuilding season for the Chiefs, it might just make the most sense. NFL Europa offensive co-MVP Derrick Ross will be in camp along with Priest Holmes (remember him?), Michael Bennett, Marcus Oâ€™Keith, and Kolby Smith, so it wonâ€™t be the end of the world, especially if the trade includes another running back. I say go for it. Send him to a RB-hungry playoff contender like the Eagles, Giants or Packers and get a good return â€” a really good return â€” on one of the best running backs in the NFL.