Given good blocking and a fresh start, Larry Johnson might still be the power-running Pro Bowl player who had back-to-back 1,700-yard seasons for Kansas City.
Are you listening, Seattle? What do you think, Indianapolis? Chicago? Houston?
Or he might be a declining malcontent who’ll only cost money and cause trouble.
The Chiefs released Johnson on Monday, the day he was due back from his second suspension in the past 12 months.
Any team with a faltering running game is bound to be tempted by Johnson, despite his baggage and his age (he turns 30 on Nov. 19).
The Seahawks have the league’s 30th-ranked rushing offense. Starter Julius Jones has sputtered. And last week, Seattle released ineffective backup Edgerrin James, the NFL’s active rushing leader.
Yet coach Jim Mora doesn’t sound interested in Johnson.
When asked if he was interested, Mora said, “No. … Right now, we’ll just stick with what we’ve got.”
Johnson has been high-maintenance since the Chiefs drafted him in the first round out of Penn State in 2003.
His last brush with controversy came two weeks ago when he posted on his Twitter account a gay slur, insulted followers and questioned the competence of head coach Todd Haley.
Behind a poor offensive line this year, Johnson has gained 2.7 yards per carry for the Chiefs (1-7) and appeared not to have the quickness and punishing power that enabled him to rush for more than 1,700 yards in Pro Bowl seasons in 2005 and ’06.
It’s all OK between the Lions
Lions coach Jim Schwartz says there’s no feud between Calvin Johnson and Matt Stafford.
During Sunday’s game against Seattle, television cameras caught what appeared to be uncomfortable exchanges between the receiver and the quarterback.
Stafford threw five interceptions in the 32-20 loss. Johnson had two catches for 27 yards after missing the previous two games because of a knee injury.
Saying he was embarrassed and that he has to control himself, Bears defensive tackle Tommie Harris apologized Monday for throwing a punch at Cardinals offensive lineman Deuce Lutui. Harris was ejected on the fourth play from scrimmage of Sunday’s game. … Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt is brushing aside wide receiver Anquan Boldin’s critical comments that followed the Cardinals’ victory at Chicago. Boldin, who missed all but a day of practice after he aggravated a high right ankle sprain in the previous game, said he warmed up, felt good and expected to play, only to find that all his gear had been removed from his locker. Whisenhunt says he told Boldin shortly after the list of inactive players was submitted. … The Panthers lost perhaps their most productive defensive player Monday when tests showed weakside linebacker Thomas Davis has a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. … Bengals receiver Chris Henry will miss the rest of the season after having surgery Monday on his broken left forearm.