Larry Johnson's record-breaking career as a Kansas City running back is over. The Chiefs confirmed Monday that they had run out of patience with his off-the-field problems and released Johnson the day he was due to come back from his second suspension in a year.
Johnson, who turns 30 on Nov. 19, was one of the NFL's best running backs in 2005 and 2006, rushing for more than 1,700 yards in each of those seasons, and was only 75 yards away from breaking Priest Holmes' team rushing record.
But he was often angry and sullen, was dogged by controversy and frequently at odds with coaches and fans. On Oct. 25, in what turned out to be his final episode with the Chiefs, he posted on his Twitter account several insults to fans, questioned Coach Todd Haley's credentials and used a gay slur. He repeated the slur the next day to reporters and was suspended for two weeks.
Johnson was the subject of an online petition last week calling on the Chiefs not to let him break the team rushing record. He was never a fan favorite and his apology for the online comments came a year after issuing a similar apology for alleged incidents involving women in Kansas City nightclubs. In 2008, then-coach Herm Edwards benched him for three games for violating team rules. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended him a fourth game for violating the league's player conduct policy.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday, November 11, 2009 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 4 National Desk 1 inches; 46 words Type of Material: Correction
Pro football: An item in the Around the NFL report in Tuesday's Sports section said that the league was investigating an incident between Atlanta cornerback DeAngelo Hall and Washington Redskins Coach Mike Smith. Hall is a cornerback for the Redskins and Smith is the Atlanta coach.
Several teams whose running games could use a lift, such as Seattle, Indianapolis, Chicago and Houston, could be interested in the former Pro Bowler. Bears Coach Lovie Smith and Texans Coach Gary Kubiak both said their teams would "look at" Johnson.
The NFL is investigating the sideline altercation between Atlanta cornerback DeAngelo Hall and Washington Redskins Coach Mike Smith that occurred in the second quarter of the Falcons' 31-17 victory at the Georgia Dome on Sunday.
"Any altercation of that nature is always reviewed for possible discipline," league spokesman Randall Liu said. Fines and/or suspensions are possible. Both Hall and Smith have said they were trying to act as peacemakers.
Arizona Coach Ken Whisenhunt brushed aside critical comments by wide receiver Anquan Boldin, who claimed he wasn't informed he'd been placed on the inactive list before Sunday's game against Chicago, saying, "Nobody was man enough to come and tell me what was the situation."
Whisenhunt said Boldin's criticism "doesn't concern me at all. In fact, that is kind of what you like to see because he wants to play."
Carolina linebacker Thomas Davis is out for the season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during Sunday's loss to New Orleans. . . . Cincinnati receiver Chris Henry will miss the rest of the season after having surgery on his broken left forearm. . . . Buffalo quarterback Trent Edwards expects to be cleared to play Sunday against Tennessee after missing nearly a month because of a concussion. . . . Police say burglars broke into Buccaneers safety Sabby Piscitelli's house in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday while he was playing in the team's 38-28 victory over Green Bay at Raymond James Stadium. The house was ransacked and a TV was stolen.