Players are instinctively loyal to their teammates. There’s a connection and bond that runs deep, and often it can’t be severed by any amount of misbehavior, stupidity, and even run-ins with the law’s long arm. Until the bitter end, teammates can be blind, with their loyalty creating an environment that’s unrealistic as it shields them from the realities of football, and the business it’s associated with.
Karlos Dansby is that teammate with his blinders firmly fastened. He understands why Chad Johnson was cut yesterday following his domestic incident over the weekend, and he acknowledges why the Dolphins were likely motivated to move on. But he still doesn’t like the move, and thinks the organization should have made a greater effort to stand behind a player during a troubling time.
That’s what he told Sid Rosenberg this morning during a radio interview.
“I hate that we didn’t stand behind him. I know the guys in the locker room would. But the organization felt a totally different way about the situation, and they probably had more information than we know. And they had to do what they had to do.”
It’s going to be an even bigger distraction right now, I think, because of the simple fact we let him go. I think if we were going to be with the guy, if he was going to be our guy, we have to stand behind him — even though the situation came about. He didn’t get that third strike.”
What Dansby and perhaps others fail to comprehend is that even though Johnson’s history should have denied him the privilege of having three strikes on a team trying to rebuild under a new, strict coach, the Dolphins were highly tolerant of his behavior. Phin Phinatic listed the minor indiscretions during Johnson’s brief stay, and as is often the case with a player whose poor conduct isn’t offset by quality on-field play, the snowball built through small acts of ignorance.
A: Leaving the building on his first day off Chad tells another person, “It’s my day off, I’m going to get arrested”. He doesn’t but it’s played out on HBO’s Hard Knocks.
B: Chad stands in front of the press for his first interview and opens with, “If I get cut I’m going into porn”. He followed that up with a series of “F-Bombs”.
C: Coach Philbin pulls him aside and tells him there is a time and a place and that in essence, he expects more decorum. He later tells an off-camera reporter that Chad’s actions could, “absolutely” cost him a roster spot.
D: Chad shows up on Wednesday following the HBOHK premier and tells the media, “I don’t do media anymore”. Then storms off.
E: Two days later, Johnson changes his Twitter account avatar to a two middle finger salute with the words, “No More F@**S” written across the top.
F: CJ is arrested for assaulting his wife over a condom receipt found in his car.
Randy Moss has been an idiot for years, which is why his stops since leaving Minnesota have been relatively brief. But still, he was tolerated by Bill Belichick in New England because of his superior ability. The moment those skills began to fade and his off-field theatrics continued, the severance was swift.
The only difference between Johnson’s plight and Moss’ previously following his exit from the Patriots is that now Moss has fought back despite his age and reputation, and by all accounts is about to begin a season in San Francisco in which he’ll at the very least be a consistent minor contributor, or at best ascend to be a resurgent No. 1 option.
Johnson has just been cut by the most wide receiver-needy team in the league, and the Jets, the second most WR-needy team, will likely have little interest. His mouth far exceeds his talent, and now the 34-year-old may be about to finally talk his way out of the league.
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