Wide receiver Chad Johnson was released by the Miami Dolphins on Sunday after a weekend arrest for domestic assault, which given the relative lack of proven talent the Dolphins have at wide receiver may speak to what he has left as a player as much as that he created a distraction off the field. That said, his name recognition alone stands to mean many teams could have some level of interest in signing him. At the very least it would be a low-risk move for any team, as Johnson is not in a position to demand a lot of money or a long-term deal.
Johnson is now 34 years old and is coming off the worst season of his career in 2011 with the New England Patriots, as he had just 15 catches for 276 yards and one touchdown as reports widely surfaced he struggled to grasp the Patriots’ playbook. His best years obviously came with the Cincinnati Bengals from 2001-2010, as he was elected to six Pro Bowls (2003-2006, 2007, 2009) over that time, with eight seasons with at least 67 receptions and seven 1,000 yard seasons. For his career Johnson has 766 receptions for 11,059 yards and 67 touchdowns.
The Minnesota Vikings do have a need at wide receiver with a largely unproven group outside of Percy Harvin, so any available wide receiver will be speculated on at this point. At his age Johnson does not fit with the roster-wide youth movement spearheaded by general manager Rick Spielman, and he has not exactly proven to be a veteran leader or a good example for younger receivers as he has advanced in his career. It’s fair to mention the solid track record of Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick when it comes to cutting ties with players at the right time, so the fact that franchise deemed Johnson to not be worth keeping around should sound alarms all around the league.