Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson ended his holdout today and reported to his first practice of training camp.
"I was really excited to see him out here. He looks like he's in great shape and ready to go," said Eagles head coach Andy Reid. "I was also surprised to see him, because I think he's still on the Titans, right? Did he just drive up here last night?"
While Johnson says he still wants a new contract, he is itching to play and has been following all of the Eagles' preseason hype.
"Let's say the Titans even give me a new contract," said Johnson. "What does that accomplish? I'm still playing for a shitty team. Nah, I'm an Eagle now."
NFL rules prohibit a player from suiting up for a team he is not under contract with, but Johnson says he has a way around that.
"I haven't run this by my agent yet, but I don't see why it wouldn't work — I'll just change my name to Cris Johnson with no 'h' in 'Chris' and then I'll be a different name than what's on the Titans contract," said Johnson. "I'll be free to sign with the Eagles then, right? Well, it makes sense to me."
The Titans have asked that the Eagles immediately return Johnson, but Reid feels that is not his team's responsibility.
"If they want him so bad, they should come pick him up," said Reid. "Until then, I'm going to work him into the offense. I think someone with his running ability could be a great decoy in the backfield for us to open up some more 4-yard pass plays."
Johnson says he is an Eagle until NFL Security forcibly removes the jersey from his body or something else happens – "like Michael Vick getting hurt," he said. "I've played with Vince Young before. No, thank you. I'll walk back to Tennessee to not experience that again."