Chad Johnson promised he would give reporters something to write about. He also promised he would go back to his old days of being an elite receiver. Well, one out of two isn’t bad.
The Dolphins released Johnson on Sunday following his arrest after police said he head butted his wife during an argument. I know some people out there are thinking the decision was made too quickly. Maybe the team should have waited a bit for the facts to come out? I disagree.
We have to remember, the Dolphins are a private business and not the legal system. To them, perception is reality. What they had in Johnson was a former Pro Bowl receiver who wasn’t even close to playing at that level again. He was still a Pro Bowl talker, and he had already embarrassed the team with his profanity laced news conference at the beginning of camp. Adding the title of wife abuser wasn’t exactly what the team was looking for from the veteran.
He was good for a headline and certainly good for reality TV, but following a 15 catch season in New England, it was becoming clear Johnson is no longer good on the field.
The team decided enough was enough and cut ties with him. After having dealt with the distraction that was Brandon Marshall for the last few seasons, it was not surprising Miami didn’t have much patience for Johnson’s antics.
What is surprising is that they signed him in the first place. New coach Joe Philbin is a very likeable guy and is developing a reputation as a no-nonsense coach. He clearly has a vision for the team, and a big part of that is being a team player. Johnson has never been mistaken for that.
Philbin warned Johnson to not embarrass the team. When he did again, it was time to cut ties with him.
Of course, in Johnson’s defense, he has never had legal problems during his NFL career, and nothing may come from this arrest. But, that’s not the Dolphins problem. At least, it’s not anymore.
Releasing him was the right move. They want a new era of Dolphins football, so no need to have the same headaches from the past.