I gave myself some time to read up and consult with colleagues and friends about this move and I've tried to see it from every angle. I do not like the signing of Larry Johnson.
He will provide incredible depth behind Benson, Scott and Leonard but like many scrapheap players this Bengals team has on it, Johnson has a lot of baggage. His published comments via Twitter and checkered accusations drove the Chiefs to cut their two-time Pro Bowler.
If you look into the things he has been accused of by women and the very clear comments he made on Twitter that fueled his exit from KC, it's pretty easy to see that Larry Johnson is simply an asshole. And assholes can really throw off the locker room chemistry.
The counter argument is that we have a stable locker room with veteran leadership at basically every position and one guy who is an MVP Candidate and a bunch of other guys that want to make the best of their second chance.And that's a solid argument....Except no one should be surprised this signing happened. The moment Johnson was released the Bengals were on the tip of every analysts tongue as a potential landing spot for the troubled player seeking a redemption.
All this signing does in the long term is strengthen the Mike Brown Doctrine of going for the bargain, despite the red flags associated. This method replaces the need of a legitimate scouting department. The Bengals scouting department is so small it is more like a scouting partnership or scouting group.
So in the mean time we will enjoy all of the Bengals wins and being in the national spotlight, but that spotlight might turn into blinding sunlight if one of our redemption players goes astray. While this team strengthened their depth with asshole Larry Johnson, they took on a bigger debt of ridicule should he continue to be a real asshole.
That type of media attention could wreck this locker room like a certain fist fight during halftime of a certain 2005 playoff game.