Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 8/13/12
DAVIE, Fla. Chad Johnsons NFL career is close to being over. Its not necessarily because his talent is diminishing, its more because his talent is no longer good enough to cover his antics. Johnson, 34, had his contract terminated by the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, a day after he was arrested on charges of misdemeanor domestic battery stemming from an incident in which he allegedly head butted his wife. Johnsons release wasnt due solely to the arrest. Its more about the fit, Miami coach Joe Philbin said. In my gut, I didnt think the fit was going to be beneficial to either party moving forward, whether in the short term or the long term. Id have given Johnson another chance, a little more time. But Philbin realized Johnson, a six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, wasnt going to fall in line. He didnt fall in line yesterday, he wouldnt tomorrow, and he probably wouldnt next week. In Philbins eyes, Johnson showed hes more about himself than the team. Philbin said Johnsons release was about the totality of events since he signed with Miami on June 11. Obviously, Philbin didnt feel good having about Johnson on his team. Plain and simple. He didnt think Johnson would ever be talented enough to overcome the distractions hed create. It was really just about a feel, Philbin said. Johnson was coming off a lackluster season in New England in which he had just 15 receptions for 276 yards and one touchdown. He said he felt stifled in the Patriots stuffy system. He said he felt he could breathe again now that he was back in his hometown of Miami, he could be himself. He said he was about business. Not true. Johnson was about clowning, showing out, doing crazy stuff such as that profanity-laced press conference. It was all very entertaining, and many of us laughed the entire time. I laughed. Yeah, thats bizarre behavior, I said during the press conference, but thats Chad. Thats what I thought. Clearly, thats not what Philbin thought. These types of things might have been OK if Johnson were coming off a pair of 1,000-yard receiving seasons, or if hed just put up back-to-back 10-touchdown seasons. Good players get a longer leash. Thats the way it works. The marginally talented players, the older guys, and the ones whose contributions can be easily replaced, well, they get their contracts terminated. Johnson was warned by Philbin about his behavior. One such conversation was captured by the Hard Knocks cameras during a practice. Maybe Johnson didnt believe Philbin. Maybe Johnson misread the situation. Maybe Johnson didnt think Philbin had the guts to cut him. But Philbin did cut him, and he did so without basking in the decision as though it was some kind of personal victory. Its not about one person flexing muscles, Philbin said. Of course, you wonder if Philbins reaction would have been the same if this were a crucial player, say, Pro Bowl tackle Jake Long, or pass-rushing defensive end Cameron Wake. Probably not. Theyd still be on the roster. Theyre difference-makers. On the other hand, neither Long nor Wake would have pushed the envelope as far as Johnson did in such a quick period of time. Johnson had done nothing for the team, he brought nothing to the table. And here he was, drawing attention to himself in a very bad way. Philbin sent a message such nonsense wont be tolerated. It wasnt done to send a message, Philbin said once again. It just didnt feel right. Now, at least two teams Miami, and New England, which released him in June dont want Johnson. And by the way, when Philbin said it just didnt feel right in reference to keeping Johnson, dont ignore that. Those are bad words. They serve as a warning to anyone else interested to think twice about him. Hes probably not your type of guy. That, as much as anything, is why Johnson is unemployed right now. And it might be why hes unemployable in the near future.
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