As of about, oh, an hour ago, the two most underpaid players in the NFL were Titans running back Chris Johnson and Eagles wideout DeSean Jackson.
Johnson decided to protest his meager pay by holding out. Jackson, by contrast, decided to be a good soldier and report to camp. Guess who's strategy just paid off?
Holdout running back Chris Johnson and the Tennessee Titans agreed to a four-year, $53 million extension with $30 million guaranteed on Thursday, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
That's right, Cop Speed banked $30 million and he'll still arrive just in time to start in week one. Jackson, meanwhile, is scheduled to make $565,000, and he just saw Michael Vick get bequeathed a reported $35.5 million in guarantees from the Eagles earlier this week. That makes DeSean the official "Pay Da Man" (to use Deion's phrasing) of the current NFL season.
Johnson's payday has to mildly irk Jackson, who may now regret not staging a similar holdout. A team can promise you that it will take care of you and you may buy it, but don't forget that DeSean nearly had his head taken off against the Falcons last season. Another brutal hit like that, or one that takes out his knees, and suddenly, his leverage is gone.
In theory, Jackson could make a power play by walking away from the Eagles NOW and beginning a holdout -- one that would almost certainly subject him to intense public scorn.
Publicly, the Eagles have been non-commital about Jackson. Perhaps they're already talking to DeSean's people and the parameters of his new deal are being set as we speak. But if they aren't, and if one of the most dangerous wideouts in football feels like he's being strung along, then things could acrimonious in quite a hurry. Meanwhile, Chris Johnson has an infinity pool to build.