Larry Johnson is done in Kansas City. End of story, period, lights out. He's done.
And while Kansas City may choose to deactivate him or keep him on the bench just in case, I don't see how he's not released within the next week or so if not the next few days. It's clear that he's not in Kansas City's future plans, and that they want nothing to do with him.
So if Larry Johnson is released, and that's obviously a big "if" right now, where could he end up?
Sweet Home Chicago, anyone?
The Bears running game needs some help, and Larry Johnson, while not a permanent fix, could be a major band-aid for an offense that needs a change now.
I know, I know. Johnson is a shell of his former self and hasn't put up the numbers he did in back to back campaigns two years ago where he rushed for a combined 752 attempts.
Or maybe it was his fat new contract that humbled him. Who knows?
But that's not the point. Johnson may not be the runner he once was, but he's still got some years left on him (he's only 30).
And ask yourself this: would you rather see a two back formation with Matt Forte and Larry Johnson in the backfield? Or do you want to keep watching Matt Forte splitting time with Garret Wolfe, and witness Ron Turner try to run a four-foot-nothing running back up the gut of 300 pound defensive linemen.
It's a move that the Bears, if they're smart, will make.
Matt Forte has rushed for 318 yards in six games and is averaging 3.5 yards per carry. And that's with the Bears forcing the run game down our throats and trying to get Forte going in any and every way possible. That's not, by any stretch of the imagination, a potent running attack.
And while Johnson's numbers are worse than Forte's at this point, that doesn't change the fact that history shows he's a better running back than that—and a better back than anyone else we have on the roster to back up Matt Forte.
Cutler is better than his numbers show right now, and I think Johnson can be better as well.
The Bears just traded a second round pick to Tampa Bay for Gaines Adams, a first round pick who sorely underperformed for the Buccanneers, yet Chicago took a shot on him. Johnson would cost little, if he's released, and wouldn't cost any draft picks.
And I have to keep going back to my point that regardless of how you feel about Johnson, don't try to tell me you feel better about Garret Wolfe in the backfield than you would about L.J.
If nothing else, he'd be a great backup to Forte, and might turn over a new leaf in Chicago; the same way Benson turned over a new leaf in Cincinnati and ran the ball down the Bears' throats last Sunday.
And the plain fact is, the Bears' run game is non-existent right now, and if something were to happen to Forte, Chicago would be screaming for a back of Johnson's caliber, or anyone for that matter.
If he becomes available, the Bears would be wise to take him. He'll be cheap, humbled, and hungry for a chance to prove he can still be a premiere back in the league.
And these days, the NFL's all about second chances.
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