Chris Johnson accused of funding murder-for-hire

According to a TMZ Sports report, former NFL star Chris Johnson is facing some pretty hefty accusations. The former standout running back with the Tennessee Titans has been accused of funding murder-for-hire shootings that killed two men in 2016, according to court documents obtained by TMZ Sports.

TMZ reports that Johnson has not yet been formally charged with a crime by authorities and he is already “adamantly” denying the allegations. However, officials are reportedly laying out a case against Johnson.

The report states that officials believe Johnson offered money to a man to kill two men that were suspected of shooting Johnson’s friend in 2015. Johnson was with his friend when he died in that shooting, as someone reportedly opened fire on a Jeep he was in around 4 a.m., according to TMZ. Johnson reportedly suffered a bullet wound in his shoulder, an injury he would recover fully from, but his friend, Dreekius Johnson, was killed in the shooting.

“I don’t think something like that will ever go away,” Johnson said about the incident in 2015, according to AZCentral.com. “I wouldn’t say I used it for motivation. But I think it taught me how to live different – not going to certain places and not being in certain places. Knowing I got two kids and they need me here, it definitely helped me be smarter.

“It made me understand what stuff I can do and what stuff I can’t do, what places I should be at and what places I shouldn’t be at.”

TMZ says that the documents accuse Johnson of helping with day-to-day operations of a drug trafficking organization he is accused of being associated with, but do not formally charge him with crimes.

Prosecutors at both the state attorney’s office and attorney general’s office in Florida did not respond to request for comment, according to TMZ.

The 24th overall pick by the Titans out of East Carolina in the 2008 draft, Johnson was regarded as one of the best running backs in the league, if not the best. He made three Pro Bowls from 2008-2010. His 2009 season hit impressive marks as gaining 2,509 yards from scrimmage made him a First Team All-Pro selection, the NFL Offensive Player of the Year, the rushing yards leader in the NFL for that season, and gave him the record for the most yards from scrimmage in a single season, a record that still stands today.

After the 2013 season, the Titans released Johnson and he signed a three-year contract with the New York Jets. But the franchise declined the second year of his contract, making him a free agent ahead of the 2015 season. He signed a one-year deal with the Cardinals three times from 2015-2017 before retiring from football in November of 2018.