NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Titans have agreed to a four-year, $53.5 million contract extension with running back Chris Johnson.
The deal, as first reported by The Tennessean, includes $30 million guaranteed.
Johnson was scheduled to make $1.065 million in 2011.
He is now the NFL's highest-paid running back, and with an average salary of $13.5 million, he ranks among the league's “elite” players.
According to The Tennessean, the highest paid running backs in the league make roughly $9.5 million to $10.5 million per year annually over the first three years of the deal.
Minnesota's Adrian Peterson is scheduled to make $10.7 million in the final year of his contract.
Last month, the Panthers reached a deal with running back DeAngelo Williams that gave him $21 million in guaranteed money.
Johnson has led the NFL with 4,598 total rushing yards over the past three seasons combined.
The Titans, in New Orleans for their final preseason game Thursday night, have declined to talk about the agreement until after the game.
Titans' fans across the board seemed to be thrilled with the announcement regarding Johnson's new contract.
“The off season has been very long especially with the lockout and everything and then his contract, so it's nice for it to finally be over it's good to have him back,” Titans fan Dago Maldonado said.
Fan John Leonard agreed, adding, “I think it's good that they signed him finally I think it's good for the titans I think it's good for the city of Nashville.”
While many fans were happy with the announcement, others seemed less than thrilled.
“I understand why they did it, but at the same time you can kind of show the track record of most players when they receive their money sometimes they don't play to the level they need to,” Jake Martin said.
“I'm hoping we get our money's worth,” another fan added.
The team opens up the season on the road against Jacksonville on September 11. Whether Johnson will be there is not known.
He was not at Thursday night's game.
*The Tennessean contributed to this report.