Chad Johnson: Receiver Deserves Another Chance in NFL
He was arrested Saturday night for allegedly head-butting his wife, Evelyn Lozada. The wide receiver has had a prior incident with domestic violence in college, but he has been well-behaved during his NFL career.
TMZ obtained the police report of the incident, and it does not help Johnson's case. He allegedly yelled at her, claiming he did not care about his career (a nice way of putting it). If he did do everything he is accused of, he needs to work on controlling his anger.
By cutting Johnson, the Dolphins did not believe his side of the story.
Was it an overreaction? Yes.
The six-time Pro Bowler now faces the challenge of finding a new team. He was released by the New England Patriots in June but quickly signed with Miami. Now that he has an off-the-field incident, teams will be cautious about signing him.
The 34-year-old receiver has had an eventful offseason. While he changed teams, he also got married, changed his last name from Ochocinco to Johnson and is now involved in this incident.
Last season was the worst of his career in terms of numbers. Johnson caught only 15 passes for 276 yards last season, and he only hauled in one touchdown. He struggled to get playing time in Tom Brady's offense, but he did manage to get a catch in the Super Bowl.
During last Friday's preseason opener, Johnson failed to catch the only pass thrown his way. Little did he know that it would be his last attempt to catch a pass as a Dolphin.
By taking back to his given name, he is probably focused on returning to a great football player. For 10 seasons in Cincinnati, he was one of the best receivers in football. He was on his way to Canton while playing for the Bengals, but his career has gone downhill since he left.
Cincinnati has had its fair share of troublemakers, but Johnson/Ochocinco was never a problem. Despite losing for most of his time with the team, he always gave it his all.
Even if he is not the same receiver he once was, Johnson still had the respect of his locker room. Linebacker Karlos Dansby appeared on the "Sid Rosenberg Show" on Monday (per NFL.com) and backed Johnson:
I hate that we didn't stand behind him. I know the guys in the locker room would.
Johnson has always been a good teammate, and he would not mess up the chemistry in any locker room. He just needs to find the right team at this point in his career.
He showed signs of returning to his old form during training camp, and he deserves a chance to catch on with another team. Last season showed he was able to be on a team in which he was not the center of the offense.
Fans need to avoid jumping to conclusions before the legal system has run its course. Domestic abuse is nothing to downplay, but he has not had the chance to defend himself. Details may change as time goes on, and he could turn out to be telling the truth.
He is now learning about the negative side effects of his Ochocinco personality. His fame was great until an incident occurred, and now it is starting to work against him.
Players in this league continue to get arrested without being released; in fact, some players get arrested multiple times and stay on a team. Johnson was released quickly and is now out of work.
The veteran receiver deserves another chance in the league, and he will be on his best behavior for the rest of his career. With the season approaching, it may take injuries for him to join a roster.
Johnson never had to deal with off-the-field issues, and he was proud of it. Everyone makes mistakes.
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