August 13, 2012
So the Miami Dolphins decided to part ways with wide receiver Chad Johnson on Sunday in the wake of Johnson’s arrest stemming from a domestic battery incident involving him and his wife on Saturday night. This was supposed to be the time when we would see a revival of a career that had fallen on hard times last season in New England. Johnson was probably going to be the Dolphins’ #1 receiver going into this upcoming season and Miami was probably one of the only teams where Johnson could be the #1. Instead, it may be the last time we hear from Johnson on a football field for the foreseeable future. Even though Johnson has messed himself up big time with this incident, I’m not quite ready to say that Johnson’s career is over just yet, at least in the football sense. When you think about Johnson’s path, it’s really not too much different from fellow wide receiver and newly signed Seattle Seahawk Terrell Owens. Both of these guys have been known for their antics on the field with touchdown celebrations and being disruptions in the locker room. But neither one of them had been in trouble with the law (I guess Johnson can’t say that anymore). Even with all the antics, Owens eventually found work, and I think Johnson will as well (assuming he doesn’t end up in jail). He is only 34 years old and has a lot of football left in my eyes. The problem is teams aren’t going to be willing to deal with a man whose disruptive AND has off-field problems. Now lets not kid ourselves with this situation. This is not only a career-altering moment, but a life-altering moment as well. We’re talking about domestic battery here. I don’t want to say Johnson is guilty of this charge because we don’t know all of the facts yet. But this is a situation that may land him not only out of the NFL, but in jail. Regardless of what happens in the future, there’s no doubt Johnson has to sit down and take a look at the direction his life is headed. While I think he has football left in him, his production has declined drastically over the last couple of years. Johnson is no longer a #1 receiver and any chance he had of proving us wrong went down the toilet with this release. I don’t think another team will pick him up anytime soon. Like I said, I don’t think his career is over, but it’s over is now. Right now Johnson needs to get his life in order, and that’s battle is more important than any football game he has ever prepared for.
By Charles Taylor