Chad Johnson: Domestic Abuse Charge Puts Career In Serious Jeopardy

By Jeff Everette

During the season premiere of HBO’s Hard Knocks, Chad Johnson tells a cameraman that he is going to go get arrested during his off-time.  The flippant remark turned out to be prophetic, as the Miami Dolphins found himself locked up by the Davie Police Department Saturday evening, after allegedly head-butting his wife during a heated dispute.

According to DPD Capt. Dale Engle, Johnson and his wife, Evelyn Lozada, had been out to diner and on the way back, Lozada, a member of  VH1’s Basketball Wives, found a receipt for a box of condoms.  This is said to have stated an arguement that ended with a head-butt and the police taking Johnson to jail.

Engle relayed Lozada’s side of the story, saying Johnson leaned over, and head-butted his reality star wife.  Engle also said, Johnson told the officers Evelyn had leaned in, and their heads accidentally came into contact.  Either way, Evelyn was treated on the scene, and then transported to a local hospital, which was enough for the police to place Johnson under arrest.

The Constitution of the United States grants us all the assumption of innocence, but the Miami Dolphins are bound by no such law, and they may not be as forgiving as Lozada will likely be.

While Johnson had never been arrested during his 11 years as a pro, he has been a regular in NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell‘s dog house, and catching a domestic abuse case is not the best way to gain the Commissioner’s favor.  The NFL is teamed up with the White House to help end violence against women, and a conviction would likely mean sever punishment from the league office.

The Dolphins have already shown they would rather gamble on third round draft picks, then deal with a talented wide out with off field troubles, having traded last season’s Pro Bowl MVP, Brandon Marshall, to the Chicago Bears earlier this year.

Johnson is coming off of the worst statistical year of his career, despite having played with Tom Brady, and the pass heavy New England Patriots last season.  Released by the Patriots, Johnson found his way to his home town of Miami, and signed a one year deal with the Dolphins.  The contract is only for the veteran minimum, and the Dolphins can back out of the deal by cutting Johnson before the season starts.

The 34 year old had come to camp with a chip on his shoulder, and began impressing the critics and coaches from day one, but had to be pulled aside by Dolphin’s head coach, Joe Philbin, after a press conference in which Johnson had repeatedly swore and suggested that he was going to go into porn if he didn’t make the 53 man roster.  HBO cameras caught the exchange between the two, and one of the points Philbin made was about representing the organization in the best light.

Since Hard Knocks aired last Tuesday, Philbin has made it very clear that attitude and personal issues could threaten Chad Johnson’s future with the Dolphins.  The first year head coach was asked about Johnson several times, and he warned that there would be consequences for anyone who failed to get on board with the rest of the team.

The Dolphins currently have 12 receivers in camp, and despite the fact that Johnson has been fairly impressive in practice, the team could easily decide to part ways with the flamboyant wide receiver, if they feel he is not worth the constant distraction, especially if he misses any time with the team.

At this time the team has simply issued a generic statement, saying that they are “aware of the situation and are in the process of gathering all the relevant information.”  Johnson will have to go in front of a judge before he can be released, but rumors suggest that this could happen as early as 8 a.m. (Eastern) on Sunday.

Expect more news from Miami as the situation continues to unfold, and don’t miss the next few episodes of Hard Knocks; they promise to be very entertaining.


Jeff Everette is a featured columnist for, covering the NFL and NBA.  You can follow him on twitter @jeverettesports, or subscribe to Jeff on both Facebook and Google+ for all of his latest articles, opinions, and rants.

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