Updates from Saturday, April 12
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that the Alouettes are planning to work out the veteran wideout and instigate negotiations on a potential deal:
Alouettes will work out Chad @Ochocinco this week in Vero Beach, per GM Jim Popp. “Talks did take place, have escalated over the last week.”— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 12, 2014
Chad Johnson hasn't played professional football since 2011, but that could change this season if he can strike a deal with a team north of the border.
According to TSN's David William Naylor, the CFL's Montreal Alouettes have positioned themselves to own exclusive negotiating rights with the 36-year-old wide receiver:
After Naylor's report was released, Johnson claimed on Twitter that he would be ready for the challenge of playing in Montreal:
It may seem like a long shot that a six-time NFL Pro Bowler like Johnson would play in Canada, but some of his recent comments suggest that it isn't out of the question.
When asked on Twitter recently about which team he might consider signing with in 2014, Johnson responded in a somewhat surprising fashion:
The B.C. Lions are six-time Grey Cup champions, and while a player with Johnson's skill set could quite possibly help them win a seventh, the interest isn't mutual.
According to Cam Tucker of Metro Vancouver, Lions general manager Wally Buono doesn't view Johnson as a good fit.
I felt I would disrespect the individual if I didn't even sit down and talk about it ... But when you start measuring all the obstacles and you start to evaluate as an organization what you've supported, what you stand for and what you have expounded on, it just doesn't even come close to working.
Despite the B.C. Lions' lack of interest, Johnson seemingly remains undeterred when it comes to finding a new team for the upcoming season:
Johnson is a few years removed from his final NFL season with the New England Patriots. He struggled mightily that season with a career-low 276 receiving yards, but he still appears to be in fine physical condition, as seen in this video courtesy of his Instagram account:
Johnson has given every indication that he is motivated. He even admitted on Twitter that he misses all of the little things that come along with being a football player:
No, I got cut, I miss preparation/practice RT @NinoDemayo: Have u ever played an organized sport? Do you still play? If not, do u miss it?— Chad Johnson (@ochocinco) March 19, 2014
If Johnson and the Alouettes do come to an agreement, it will likely spark some interest in the CFL among American fans. At the same time, though, it could lead to some unrealistic expectations.
Where will Chad Johnson play in 2014?
Montreal wouldn't be getting the same guy who racked up over 1,000 receiving yards with the Cincinnati Bengals in seven out of eight seasons from 2002 through 2009.
Johnson is a savvy player who had success at the highest level, though, and he would undoubtedly help boost ticket sales as well.
It makes sense from the Alouettes' perspective since the risk is minimal, and it is logical for Johnson as well provided he truly wants to play for the love of the game. He has already made his millions, so playing in the CFL wouldn't be about the money.
If nothing else, Johnson is an entertaining personality, and it would be fun to see him on the gridiron again regardless of where it is.
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