Kansas City Chiefs starting running back Larry Johnson was suspended for two weeks by the team for what’s being termed “conduct detrimental to the team.” He has to stay away from the team until November 9th. Johnson’s agent says the player will appeal the suspension that will cost him $660,000.
Chiefs head coach Todd Haley didn’t take any more questions about Johnson on Wednesday after making his comments earlier in the week. Todd Haley’s comments This suspension stems from a couple of “tweets” that Johnson posted on his Twitter account. He was on there Sunday bashing Haley and the coaching staff. He later posted a gay slur. Then on Monday, he was caught on tape and heard by reporters in the locker room making another gay slur toward someone in the media.
Johnson was benched last year for three games and suspended for one by the NFL after he was arrested on assault charges for an incident that took play at a Kansas City night club. I wonder how much longer he can continue to survive before the Chiefs wake up and cut him.
There are a couple of scenarios that could play out. Kent Babb, who follows the Chiefs for the Kansas City Star offers these scenarios.
1. The Chiefs could deactivate Johnson for some or all of its remaining eight games after his team suspension expires. That would save the Chiefs some money; Johnson receives a bonus for each game he appears on the team’s 45-man roster. Johnson still would be entitled to his yearly salary — about $330,000 per week — which is guaranteed as long as he’s on the 53-man roster.
2. The league also could suspend Johnson for anywhere from one game to the remainder of the season. If Johnson were suspended, he wouldn’t receive the prorated portion of his yearly salary for those weeks.
3. The Chiefs could release Johnson, but not only would they have to pay Johnson the remainder of his 2009 salary — his 2010 salary does not become guaranteed until he makes the opening-week roster next season — but he would be free to sign this season with another team.
The Chiefs will most likely go with Kolby Smith and Jamaal Charles in Johnson’s place who has averaged just 2.7 yards per carry. The Chiefs have their bye week for November 1st.