Chad Johnson: Shut Up and Play!

Aaron MeyerCorrespondent IApril 17, 2008

Welcome to the age of the crybaby wide receiver. Thanks TO, thank you Randy Moss, thank all you overpaid, undertalented college wideouts who think you're the next Jerry Rice.

Thank you for thinking you are more valuable than you are.

Memo to Chad Johnson: Jerry Rice never complained to the media about his contract, his quarterback, or his team. He came to mini-camp, training camp, preseason, regular season, and playoffs, and he came ready to play.

He ran the routes the coaches asked for, without complaint, every play. And there are tons of other worthy wide receivers who operated the same way. Art Monk, Cris Carter, Steve Lambert, even Michael Irvin. Say what you want personally about Michael Irvin, he never came out and slagged his team to the media.

Chad, here's the 411: you have one of the best quarterbacks in the league throwing to you, one of the toughest head coaches, and a team that could turn around their misfortunes with one good draft and a couple of solid free agents. You have a running mate in TJ Houshmandzadeh, a solid running back in Rudi Johnson, and an improved offensive line. You have no reason to complain.

I don't know if there is something broken in guys like "Ocho Cinco" (which, by the way, is not how you say 85 in Spanish, it's Ochenta y Cinco)and Terrell Owens. Maybe daddy wasn't there, maybe mommy didn't tuck them in. Maybe the adults in their life made no effort to make them humble. Possibly too many peers when they were growing up filled their heads with overinflated greatness.

But one thing is for sure, the NFL would serve itself well to let these guys go to the Arena League. Take the slightly less talented wideout in the fourth round, and just deal with it. Because sure enough, five years into their careers these "me-first" type of players will burn you and your team. They are poison, and not worth the trouble. Ask Donovan McNabb how that works out.

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