After Miami Dolphins Cut Chad Johnson, Is His NFL Career Over?

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After Miami Dolphins Cut Chad Johnson, Is His NFL Career Over?
Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

The majority of the national reaction surrounding Chad Johnson's release from the Miami Dolphins has focused on the idea that the 34-year-old receiver is done playing in the NFL

I don't think that prediction could be any further off, and you don't have to look far to find the evidence. 

Over the last three or so months, we've seen two receivers who many wrote off—Randy Moss and Terrell Owens—secure jobs in the NFC West. Moss signed a one-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers in March, and Owens recently inked a one-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks

Why then would Johnson be done?

In fact, the reasons why many are writing off Johnson are the same once said about Moss and Owens. 

"At 34 years old, Johnson is too old." Yet Moss is 35 and Owens 38. Age is just one factor in a messy equation. 

Joe Nicholson-US PRESSWIRE

"Johnson really hasn't played a role on an NFL team since 2010." Moss took the entire 2011 season off, and Owens was also out while recovering from an ACL injury. Johnson was on a roster. 

"Johnson has always been a locker room problem, and now he's gotten in trouble with the law." Owens is the definition of a locker room malcontent, and Moss hasn't exactly been an angel either. Saturday's arrest was Johnson's first incident with the law since entering the NFL. 

And remember, Owens was released by an Indoor Football League franchise in the last six months. He still found a home. Moss bounced around three different teams in 2010 before "retiring." No one thought either would have a job at this point in 2012.

That said, Johnson has never been on the same level as Moss and Owens—two receivers likely headed to the Pro Football Hall of Fame five years after they hang up the cleats. Johnson was very good in his prime, but Moss and Owens were once rare talents. 

Still, Johnson appeared to still have something left in the tank during his brief stint in Miami. 

From ESPN.com's James Walker:

...the Johnson I've seen in minicamp and training camp has been impressive. He's sharp out of his cuts, getting open and catching the football well. It also appears Johnson is having fun again, which wasn't always the case in New England's stuffy football environment. 

And as Moss and Owens proved this offseason, it only takes one team for Johnson to find a new home. Eventually, as the preseason drags on and injuries begin popping up, Johnson is going to get a call. 

If he still wants to play, the opportunity will eventually present itself. It won't be Monday, or tomorrow or probably even next Monday. But there will be a call. If Johnson isn't checking out on this career, we probably haven't heard the last of him in the NFL.

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