Johnson said after Sunday's season finale that he still felt he could compete to be a starter in the NFL, but Childress said if Johnson doesn't want to accept the terms of being a backup and wanted to be released, the team would honor his request.
"Brad will be in there in the mix if he wants to be here. If he doesn't want to be here, that's something that we're about to talk about," Childress said. "He's under contract with us right now. I've told you I appreciate his professional nature, but you don't want to hold somebody here against their will if he doesn't want to be here. I don't think that bodes well for anybody."
Childress also said he would be confident going into next season with Brooks Bollinger and Tarvaris Jackson competing to the be starting quarterback and didn't anticipate getting an experienced veteran quarterback in free agency even if Johnson is no longer with the team.
"I don't think we're going into the free agent market. We're not close to thinking about going for a free agent quarterback," Childress said. "I like the guys that are here right now. We kept three quarterbacks on this squad. If I didn't feel like there was a viable third, I'd possibly go with two next year."
Childress also listed his positives and negatives from the season. Building around a strong defense, drafting productive players, the successes in free agency, the re-signings of E.J. Henderson, Bryant McKinnie and Kevin Williams, and the 1,200-yard rushing season from Chester Taylor were among the positives.
The negatives, according to Childress, were not being in the playoffs, the turnovers and the resulting touchdowns they created, and the disappointing offensive production.
Other press conference highlights: