There are many former NFL players that didn’t quite retire but just didn’t get a chance from any team due to their own reasons. The list of those reasons could be off-field issues like numerous arrests, reality shows or the on-field drama with egos, temper tantrums and tearing the team apart.
One former NFL player, who fits all those reasons I just listed for teams not to welcome him with open arms, wants to come back to the NFL and he hasn’t stopped playing football either. Chad Johnson, six-time Pro Bowler, is currently playing Canadian Football League. His agent told ESPN that the 36-year old wants another shot in the NFL.
Johnson had his lost shot with the New England Patriots and wasn’t an offensive factor. Then what made matters worse for Johnson is that he admitted that he didn’t even look at the Patriots playbook which made sense on why quarterback Tom Brady threw one way and Johnson went the other way. You couldn’t help but to see the frustration on Brady’s face the many of times Johnson didn’t know his route.
Johnson’s agent stated:
“If they did [call], he would jump for it. Of course, he would love it. But right now, he’s operating as a Canadian Football League player. We will see what happens. It’s not like we’re holding our breath that he’s going to play in the NFL. But he’s trying. That’s the goal.”
We all remember Johnson’s prime moments with the Cincinnati Bengals and the whole “Batman and Robin” hype when Terrell Owens joined the Bengals in 2010, yet the Bengals went from a 10-6 record the year before to a 4-12 record that “Batman and Robin” year. Their attitudes accompanied by their egos made teams not too eager to sign the “once upon a time” great receivers.
Then we cannot forget the off-field drama Johnson had with the assault charge in 2010 against his now ex wife Evelyn Lozada, serving only 30 days in jail. In 2007, Johnson was sued for not giving away awards that fans won in raffles; the prizes being a Lexus and a trip to Hawaii and Europe. Lets add on the fact that he ruined his image with his reality TV show called “Ochocinco: The Ultimate Catch” that also costarred Terrell Owens.
Some people don’t care what athletes do during their personal time, as long as they show up on the field. However, with Johnson and the statement of not reading the Patriots playbook and you’re on one of the top NFL franchises and playing with one of the top quarterbacks in NFL history, doesn’t look like a promising chance.
Should we judge an athlete for what he does off-field? The media and Roger Goodell say yes.