Chris Johnson was once one of the fastest players in the NFL, but, on one night in Miami, the former running back wasn’t quick enough to bolt South Beach soon enough to make it back to Nashville — and it cost he and his teammates a combined $140,000 — and it’s not from partying too hard, but from fines for a delayed trip back.
After being a surprise first round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans, Chris Johnson lit up the league during his time in Nashville, rushing for over 1,000 yards in each of his six seasons with the franchise before moving on. In 2009, Johnson earned the nickname “CJ2K” after surpassing the 2,000-yard mark for the season, becoming just the third player in NFL history to reach that mark in a regular season.
And, while Johnson was killing it on the gridiron, one fateful night out following a 29-19 loss to the Miami Dolphins in 2010 ended up making a serious dent in his bank account. That’s what he said on Bleacher Report’s “Untold Stories” series, where the former running back described what had happened with his teammates after getting an extra night in Miami thanks to head coach Jeff Fisher’s approval.
Per the Miami Herald:
Titans coach Jeff Fisher allowed Johnson and some of his teammates to spend the night in Magic City. There was just one condition: They had to make it to Monday meetings.
“We all planned to get back to Nashville by 11 o’clock, get off the plane, drive straight to work, be there by 12,” Johnson told B/R’s Master Tesfatsion.
Johnson woke up Monday morning to numerous missed calls from teammates. He wasn’t the only one — cornerback Ryan Mouton also was missing in action. As Johnson rushed to the airport, he repeatedly called Mouton, who was still asleep.
Mouton didn’t pick up the phone until 10 minutes before Johnson got to the airport.
“He’s like, ‘Bro! Please don’t let em leave me,’ ” Johnson continued. “I say, ‘Bro, I got you. I’mma try.’”
Stopping a private jet, however, is much more difficult than you think. The jet was already on the runway by the time Johnson arrived. In a mad dash reminiscent of O.J. Simpson’s Hertz commercial, the three-time Pro Bowler sprinted to the jet.
He made it. Unfortunately, Mouton wasn’t so lucky.
“By the time he pulled up, we’d taken off,” Johnson said.
Mouton’s day only got worse. Johnson said his teammate missed the entire day because of canceled flights.
Two days later, Johnson and his teammates had a special surprise waiting in their lockers. Each of the four teammates who made it back for Monday meetings were fined $20,000. Mouton, conversely, was slapped with a $60,000 fine.
“’Y’all all got fined cuz one of y’all teammates ain’t even make it back at all,’” Johnson recalled Fisher saying.
Damn, the guys got nailed with some serious fines, with Ryan Mouton getting the brunt of it with a $60,000 tab because he missed a few days of practice. So much for things going the way the players had though, right?
So, was the extra night in Miami worth it? According to Chris Johnson, he didn’t seem to think it was.
“We had a good time but it wasn’t worth all that money,” Johnson concluded.
It’s wild to think that the players had a combined $140,000 on fines alone, which doesn’t even account for the possible damage they did to their bank accounts with the extra night of partying in Miami. Needless to say, there’s no way in hell that 12 hours after the loss could’ve been worth it.