What's Next for Larry Johnson?

Zeke Fuhrman@@mellamoelzekeAnalyst IIINovember 12, 2009

KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 11:  Running back Larry Johnson #27 of the Kansas City Chiefs walks off the field during the game against the Dallas Cowboys on October 11, 2009 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Seventy-five yards is all that ex-Kansas City Chief Larry Johnson needed to become the franchise's all-time leading rusher.

Not that it would have mattered anyways.

Amidst the controversy of criticizing his coach’s experience and his gay slurs, the Chiefs released the one-time Fantasy Football behemoth on Monday, the day he was to return from a two-week suspension for his controversial actions.

This wouldn't be the first time Johnson has been suspended or criticized for his off-field antics.

Chiefs fans have began a petition to have all of Johnson's stats, which include a two 1700+ yard seasons and NFL record 416 carries in 2006, removed from the team's record books.

Now that he no longer plays for the Chiefs, it is time for Johnson to try to find a new team to play for.


By essentially quitting on the 1-7 Chiefs midseason, he has now officially earned the title as a "cancer."

It is too bad that the teams who usually sign cancers aren't interested in Johnson.

In fact, Johnson easily cleared waivers, making him a free agent.

The teams who would normally select a player of Johnson's stature (Dallas, Cincinnati or Oakland) don't need him. Dallas is full of talented running backs, Cincinnati already has one of the leagues best rushing attacks, and Oakland is a rebuilding team that Johnson probably wouldn't sign with anyways. (He would have to play in Kansas City again this season.)

There are a couple options for Johnson, however.

The New England Patriots have a reputation for taking cancerous players (Randy Moss or Rodney Harrison) and turning them into team players. Bill Belichick could easily turn Johnson around. New England's running game, which is currently ranked 16th in the league, could use an upgrade as well.

The 4-4 Chicago Bears are the only team listed that does not have a winning record. If Chicago wants to save their season (The NFC North is lead by the 7-1 Minnesota Vikings), they need to improve their running game, which is ranked 28th in the league. The Bears traded for Pro Bowl QB Jay Cutler in the off-season, so don't be surprised if the Bears make a run at Johnson.

I'm sure Johnson would love to return home to Pennsylvania (he played his college ball at Penn State), and would like to play for either the Eagles or the Pittsburgh Steelers.

He has a far better chance of signing with the Philadelphia Eagles , although the chances are slim. Philly took a chance signing Terrell Owens in 2004.

While TO did help lead Philly to the Super Bowl, he was let go following the 2005 after rifts with head coach Andy Reid and QB Donovan McNabb. Although it is rumored that RB Brian Westbrook is somewhat injury prone...

The Pittsburgh Steelers  has reportedly been interested in Johnson, although I'm not sure why. Pittsburgh is having a breakout season from Rashard Mendenhall, and along with Willie Parker and Mewelde Moore, I'm not sure where LJ would fit in.

The Houston Texans  would be a great fit for Johnson. The Texans are ranked 21st in rushing offense, and have recently benched RB Steve Slaton. The Texans are on the verge of becoming a playoff team, but are still missing a few of the pieces. Johnson could be a big piece.

Given that he has seen his carries diminish every season since 2006, and the fact that he has played for a losing team (7-33 since 2007), Johnson is not an elite back anymore. Johnson will turn 30 next week, and it has been shown that backs who have a lot of carries start to diminish at that age.