Houston, I Have a Solution: Bring in Larry Johnson
Since becoming an FC for the New York Giants, I have rarely stepped outside the boundaries of the Giants and written an objective piece about the NFL. Before that, I wrote several pieces on the NFL, including mock drafts and playoff predictions.
I finally decided to step outside those boundries, as I believe a golden opportunity has been presented to solve the runningback situation in Houston.
As of this morning, Larry Johnson was cut by the Chiefs.
Before they cut ties with the disgruntled runningback who, among other things, referred to his coach with a gay slur, I would never have suggested a trade for this player.
But with a two-time 1700-yard rusher on the waiver wire, the Texans should look no further than this guy to solve their runningback woes.
I know most of you will say I'm a lunatic or something of the sort for suggesting the Texans bring in such a poor character guy; but I have a theory.
Once Larry Johnson lost his pro bowl offensive line to retirement, his play suffered, and the realization of not being successful began to weigh on his shoulders. He did not take this recent criticism very well, and when the team began to spiral into mediocrity, his play went with it.
My theory is if you give this guy a mediocre contract—it shouldn't be hard to do—and a good situation where he will actually be counted on, he will return to at least a form that will help the Texans.
Coach Gary Kubiak decided to give his thoughts on the situation:
"When a name like that comes on the free agent market like today, we'll obviously go back and take a look at him just like any other player," Kubiak said. "Obviously, he's been a good player in this league and I'm sure he'll get a lot of interest from a lot of people."
Steve Slaton is still a fantastic back, but his fumbling problems continue to hinder the team's success. I always thought he would be a great third down back in this league, similar to Kevin Faulk for the Patriots.
His incredible season last year had most people thinking he would be a pro bowl running back in the near future. Slaton has returned to Earth and is struggling to find the holes.
The release of LJ could not have come at a better time for the Texans should they choose to sign him. They are entering a bye week, and they could get him two full weeks of practice.
What is comical is I actually figured when LJ lost his fantastic line, his play would suffer.
That being said, I think the Texans' o-line is pretty good, especially compared to the Chiefs' o-line. The Chiefs have drafted some pretty good prospects, but they are yet to come together to perform up to their potential.
This is a low-risk, potentially high-reward pick for the Texans. LJ is 29, but he has had a few seasons cut short by injury and is pretty fresh considering the Chiefs rarely used him this season.
I realize the Texans have tried this with two other players in Ahman Green and Chris Brown, who were both cut by their teams after having great seasons. But hey, third time's the charm right?
The Texans have already picked up some scraps from the Chiefs when the picked up Bernard Pollard. I couldn't figure out why the Chiefs dropped him, and he has played very well for the Texans thus far.
I feel like this could be the good situation and change of scenery that Johnson needs to salvage his career. It could be a similar situation to Cedric Benson in Cincinnati, where he finally is living up to his first-round potential.
Living in Houston, I know Texans fans are not that excited about the thought of Ryan Moats being the first option. Maybe this will be the spark the Texans need to finally jolt them into the playoffs.
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