Tenure: 2003-2009: KC, 2009: Bengals, 2010: Redskins
From the start of Larry Johnson's NFL career, people had questioned his maturity and character, and it all started in 2004 with Dick Vermeil when he was coach of the KC Chiefs. Vermeil went down saying that it was time for LJ to “take the diapers off” and grow up. Emotions were riding high, but with injuries to Priest Holmes and backup Derrick Baylock, Vermeil would end up putting LJ into the lineup, and he would not disappoint.
In the first three games of his career, he ran for over 150 yards, being the first player to do so. Next season, backup Derrick Baylock would suffer a season ending neck injury and LJ would be put back into the starting lineup. He sure did produce, appearing in all 16 games, starting nine, and rushing for 1,750 yards and 20 touchdowns.
On November 20of the 2005 season, Johnson ran for a Chiefs record 211 yards rushing and two touchdowns. By the end of the 2005 season, Johnson had asserted himself to the top of the leagues running backs, with nine consecutive games (every start of that season) of 100+ yards rushing and also averaged over 10 yards a catch.
In 2006, LJ became the full time starter for KC and ran for 1,789 yards and 17 touchdowns. Johnson also set a single season record with 417 attempts. During that time, LJ was sustaining big hits, and many wondered how much longer he could hold up getting that many carries.
After a holdout in the 2007 training camp over a contract dispute, he would be rewarded with a five year extension worth $45 million ($19 million guaranteed). In week 9, LJ injured his foot and was put on IR.
As the 2008 season started, LJ looked like he would break 1,000 yards but missed four games. He would be suspended by the team, benched, and suspended by Rodger Goodell. Johnson kept the starting job in 2009, but his stats were horrendous. However, part of that blame goes to the overall lack of talent and help around him.
LJ would finish his career with Kansas City, averaging 2.9 yards a rush, and would later be traded to the Bengals where nothing really happened. In 2010, LJ signed with the Redskins and gained only two yards off five attempts.
It looks as if his career is over, but when you think of Larry Johnson, you can't help but think about the '05 and '06 seasons.
Att- 1,426 Yards- 6,221 TD's- 55