A few weeks ago the Miami Dolphins signed two-time Pro Bowl running back Larry Johnson. I thought it was a bad idea; he's had many character issues and problems in the past. And today, as I prognosticated, as reported by ESPN, the Dolphins said goodbye to the once-upon-a-time superstar.
After having two good seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, Larry's play has declined over the years. At one point he was even the highest-paid running back in the NFL.
Larry could have had a much brighter future, and could still be playing well now, but I think he was overused.
Running back is without a doubt the most physically demanding position in all of pro sports. These position players have the shortest lifespan out of any other NFL position. They are required to take a high volume of hard hits, and these hits take their toll.
I personally think that running backs are a dime a dozen and shouldn't be drafted high or paid good money. It's not that I don't respect their talent and hard work, they're just too expendable and easy to find.
The Dolphins were looking for a veteran presence to back up rookie Daniel Thomas and unproven Reggie Bush. They tried out Johnson and gave him a shot to make the 53-man roster.
Despite being old for a running back, Johnson didn't play that badly in the preseason for the 'Fins. In his final game against the Cowboys, Johnson carried the ball 10 times for 39 yards with a touchdown. Those numbers could have been better, but you have to consider he was trying to get a third-string roster spot.
Regardless, Johnson is gone. I guess the 'Fins will have to go with someone else to back up their unproven stable of runners. Let's hope that Jeff Ireland and company didn't pass up on a big comeback story.
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