San Diego Chargers: Signing Chad Johnson Would Be a Low Risk, High Reward Move
The San Diego Chargers had many areas of concern with their offense last season which ranked 30th in yards per play. While San Diego was tied for 11th in the NFL with 26 touchdown receptions and ranked 13th in receptions, they ranked 22nd in receiving yards and 30th in yards per reception.
San Diego’s best receivers are Danario Alexander and Malcom Floyd, who are injury prone, 2013 third round pick Keenan Allen, who tore his PCL last year and Vincent Brown, who is coming back from a broken ankle. Robert Meachem had knee surgery after the 2011 season, which may have contributed to his worst year as a pro last season.
The Chargers’ front office should think about taking a chance on former Cincinnati Bengals WR Chad Johnson. Johnson’s best season was in 2005 when he had 97 receptions, 1,432 receiving yards and nine TD receptions. Johnson is a six-time Pro Bowler and a three-time All-Pro including 2006 when he led the NFL in receiving yards. Johnson’s last Pro Bowl appearance was in 2009 with Cincinnati.
San Diego’s team is filled with injury prone receivers and guys coming back from injuries while the most games that Johnson missed in a season were four as a rookie in 2001.
Johnson last played for the New England Patriots in 2011 and finished the season with 15 receptions, 276 receiving yards and one TD. Johnson did not play for a team last season after being cut by the Miami Dolphins.
New England reportedly had a playbook that was difficult for Johnson to understand and was coming off a 2010 season in which they had a 14-2 record, so there was pressure on him to succeed with the Patriots.
San Diego was 7-9 in 2012 and did not make a major move or moves to be title contenders in 2013, so Johnson would have minimal pressure on him to succeed with the Chargers. San Diego also has the quarterback in Philip Rivers to deal with the personality that Johnson brings to a team.
If San Diego’s front office were to sign the 35-year-old Johnson, it would be a low risk, high reward move. I believe that San Diego should take a chance on Johnson because signing him to a one-year deal would be cheap and if he brings nothing to the table, they can release him and move on with what they have on the roster.