Chad Johnson is not the first NFL player or Miami Dolphins player to ever be arrested. Not for assault, not for anything. He won’t be the last. The arrest last night is however Chad Johnson’s first arrest. Since college. His bond has been set at 2,500.00 and he will be released soon. What happens next is up to Joe Philbin, Jeff Ireland, and Stephen Ross.
The question of whether CJ should remain on the roster is a highly debated topic at the moment, on this forum, this forum, this forum, and this forum. Rumblings of “way to go Jeff Ireland” are already rearing their ugly heads. “You got rid of Brandon Marshall for this guy?” “You passed on Chad Henne, Peyton Manning, and Matt Flynn for David Garrard?” What the hell people?
This is not a matter of whether the Dolphins made a mistake signing Johnson to a free agent deal two days before the end of their last June OTA. They knew there was an inherent risk/danger of bringing in a player as vocally free as Johnson. This however wasn’t a vocal issue, it was a physical one. Will Joe Philbin and the Dolphins front office say enough is enough and cut him on Monday? It’s possible, but if they do, it will not be because he allegedly head-butted his wife. Write that down because it is 100 percent fact.
Chad Johnson, if released, will be cut because this incident became the proverbial icing on the cake. Let’s review.
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.
If Chad Johnson is released by the team, that is the reason. Joe Philbin has made it clear that he wants a team consisting of players that embody the image of the Miami Dolphins. He want’s players on and off the field that recognize the importance of the image the team is trying to set. He wants players that share his fundamental beliefs that you play with pride when you have something to be proud of. He want’s this team to be a proud franchise and he has made that promise to the owner and GM Jeff Ireland.
Despite the fact that one local reporter is saying that Philbin told Stephen Ross that if a player didn’t conduct themselves in a certain way, he wouldn’t be part of the program. That is not entirely true and in reality is not an indication that Johnson will definitely be released. His exact quote in his report follows.
And then Philbin made the point to the rest of the media that he promised club owner Stephen Ross to run the organization in a certain way and that if people became an embarrassment for the organization, they wouldn’t be part of the program.
He then follows that statement up with the actual quote by Joe Philbin.
“Everybody’s different,” he said. “We want to let guys be themselves. However, we think everybody has an obligation to get on board with the program. I told Mr. Ross we were going to have men that represented themselves in the right way on and off the field. And that’s important to me. It’s important to our staff. I believe it’s important to our owner that we do things the right way.”
The only certainty is that Philbin will be talking to Chad Johnson soon. Today or tomorrow. The two of them will discuss the issues since training camp. I am positive that a conversation between Philbin and Jeff Ireland has already been conducted evidenced by the teams released statement last night regarding the issue and acquiring more information on the incident before moving forward in any direction.
Fans across the internet this morning are glaring upset and rightfully so. With a poor showing during Friday nights opening pre-season game, fans are already understandably on edge going into a new season. The Dolphins have been a central figure in national mainstream media bashing dating back to the hiring process that brought Joe Philbin to Miami.
Philbin is going to make a statement about who he is and what his vision of this team is. It’s not a right or wrong decision, it’s just a decision. He will either opt to keep Chad Johnson or he will release him. If he keeps him, he is not going back on anything that he has said thus far, because he hasn’t said with full resolution that players with off-field issues would be released. Only that they could possibly be released. Each situation has it’s own intricate web of behind the scenes problems.
I believe that most fans wan’t a quick resolution to this issue and that swift action is the best action. Reality however dictates differently. There is a process. The team needs to investigate the allegations. They need to find out what exactly happened the best way that they can. Was this incident a result of what CJ’s wife claims, he maliciously head butted her out of anger during the argument or is it like Chad claims that during the argument they bumped heads. Not to take his side but haven’t we all knocked heads with someone before? The reason I say that is because it is a possibility. Perception in an argument can be completely different than reality. Sometimes.
If this incident was in fact malicious then I think that given the previous issues since his arrival, Philbin has more than enough reason to sever ties with the long time veteran wide-receiver. Regardless of the prior incidents, this event would warrant a release on it’s own if the facts are true.
Regardless of whether you voted on our poll to release him, keep him, or wait and see, the truth is that Chad Johnson is not giving the Dolphins many reasons to keep him around.