Larry Johnson Re-Signs with Miami Dolphins, Indulges Kansas City Pipe Dream
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Five days after "The Ax" visited Larry Johnson in Miami, the Dolphins returned the former Chiefs Pro Bowler to the team roster. Johnson will complement another former first-round pick, Reggie Bush, while rookie running back Daniel Thomas nurses a hamstring injury.
Johnson was quoted as saying, "I could have easily said I'm going to retire as a Chief" following the news, and it just begs the question:
That thought might have resided in Johnson's head back in 2007, shortly after signing his six-year, $45 million contract. But did he see that future in 2004 when Dick Vermeil said he needed to "take the diapers off"? Did he still think Kansas City would keep his huge contract on the books when he only gained 559 rushing yards in an injury-shortened 2007 season?
If those reasons didn't cause him doubts, then he certainly should have seen the writing on the wall in 2008 when police arrested Johnson twice for assaulting women in Kansas City nightclubs.
My high school English teacher had a rule for when we wrote essays: One is a shot in the dark, two is a coincidence. Three is evidence.
So what does that make four? That's how many times police arrested Johnson during his time in Kansas City. Each arrest involved some form of assault on a woman.
Unfortunately, the Kansas City Chiefs didn't cut ties with Johnson following these incidents in 2008. It wasn't until Johnson abused Chiefs fans and coaches on his Twitter account and twice used a homosexual slur in the media in 2009 that Kansas City waived the troublesome back. Johnson apparently wasn't fond of playing for a head coach whose college sports experience involved golf rather than football.
I wonder if he grasps the irony; Todd Haley went 10-6 last year and won the AFC West. The Redskins released Johnson before the end of September last year; he remained unemployed until the Dolphins offered a contract this August.
Hindsight is definitely 20/20; never mind reports that Kansas City could have traded Johnson to Green Bay for a first- and fourth-round pick in 2007—a trade which would have saved Kansas City plenty of money and allowed them to keep fan favorite Jared Allen.
In 2003, the Chiefs missed on both Troy Polamalu and Nnamdi Asomugha in their pursuit for a running back as insurance (and contract negotiation leverage) for an injured Priest Holmes.
Kansas City received solid production from Johnson for a couple years, but paid dearly in exchange. Chiefs fans made the ultimate statement that they'd paid enough, circulating a petition to have Johnson released 75 career rushing yards shy of setting the franchise record.
That should be the nail in the coffin for Johnson's thoughts of retiring with Kansas City; when it's obvious to even Johnson that his career is over, Scott Pioli won't be offering a one-day contract to Johnson so he can retire in Chiefs red.
Kansas City fans would just rather pretend he never wore their colors at all.
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