Monday, August 13, 2012

Was Cutting Chad Johnson The Right Move?

The Miami Dolphins cut receiver Chad Johnson on Sunday, after he was arrested on a domestic abuse charge. The Dolphins exercised the 1 strike and you're out clause in his contract. Sportmentary is reserving judgment about the guilt or innocence of Johnson. Was the move by the Dolphins to cut the veteran receiver the right move?

I think it was. I've written before about my belief that teams should cut players who get into trouble. I don't care that this may be out of character for Johnson and that he may be innocent. He put himself in a  position to get in trouble. At the very least he had a heated argument with his wife and at the very least, he got too close to her. That isn't thinking clearly and he only has himself to blame.

The one issue I do have with Miami's move is that if Johnson would have been expected to be a star, the team would have given him a second chance. We see that with all NFL teams. If the player is a marginal player, they are cut the first time they step out of line. When the player is a star, there is a willingness to forgive him.

I agree with what the Dolphins did here. I wish every team had a 1 strike and you're out policy, no matter the skill level of the player. It's time that NFL players understood what is expected of them. It's time that NFL teams start sending the message that players who step over the line into criminal or alleged criminal behavior will be cut from their teams.

In Johnson's case he knew what the rules were. They were clearly spelled out for him, yet he decided to act like a thug and cross the line. It's clear that even if Johnson didn't break the law, he put himself in a position to get into trouble. First, he was apparently caught having bought a box of condoms. That triggered the fight. Buying condoms and leaving them in plain view shows me that he wanted out of his barely 1 month marriage.

Then Johnson, while in shouting match, go too close to his wife. The smart thing would have been to diffuse the situation by leaving the car. If he felt too angry to be civil, he should have removed himself from the situation.

There are similarities with his short marriage to his Miami gig. Johnson is having issues being able to stay in his relationships. Like his marriage, his Miami stint didn't last too long. It didn't even last long enough for him to make his mark.

The fact that Johnson didn't do the right thing is enough for me to believe that the Dolphins did the right thing by cutting him. I only wish the move wasn't made because of his talent or lack there of but because he crossed the line.

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