Shonn Greene to sign with Tennessee Titans

Wednesday March 13th, 2013

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.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.