June 19, 2012; Davie, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver Chad Ochocinco (85) addresses members of the media after minicamp at the Dolphins training facility. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Does Chad Johnson Deserve a Chance With the Texans?

In an interview with CSN Houston, Andre Johnson talked about bringing Chad Johnson onto the Houston Texans. After having a chance to sit down and talk with Chad while he was in Houston, Andre spoke very highly of Chad, saying that he has “learned a lot” from what Chad has gone through recently, and will be “very successful” should he get another chance and get back to, as Andre said, the “Chad that we all used to know”

Chad also spoke to CSN Houston, he cited his relative closeness in growing up with Andre in Miami, he also stated the he has “learned his lesson” and wants a second chance. “I’ve been very good to the NFL, making the game exciting, but I messed up … I made my bed and I have to lay in it.” he elaborated. Chad also went on to apologize numerous times on camera, saying “I am human” in excuse for his faults.

After his pleas for a second chance I cannot help but think that the Chad formerly known as Ochocinco has really just worn his NFL career out. It would not be his second chance, it would be his fourth, or maybe even his fifth. Johnson was, in my opinion, the second most prolific player in the “diva” wide receiver era, Terrell Owens sits atop  that throne. With all of the silliness and outright showboating has spoiled my vision of Johnson, sure I enjoyed it, but I enjoyed seeing it on other teams. To be honest, I warmed up to Johnson after watching him buckle down with the Miami Dolphins when they were featured on HBO’s television series Hard Knocks. I feel that Johnson has indeed tried to make advances and better himself, most notably by changing his surname back to Johnson from Ochocinco, showing he was trying to adjust his burlesque mannerisms, stating that he “wanted to reconnect with his former self.”

I honestly would not mind seeing Johnson try to revive his NFL playing career, but I just do not want him in Houston. For no other reasons than the media circus that will follow him and the distraction caused by said media circus that follows him into Texans training camp. I have the thought stuck in my mind that the media and Johnson often times do not get along, and after awhile, Johnson can get a little emotional, causing more distractions. During an appearance on ESPN’s Mike & Mike show back in January 2008 is what is stuck in my mind, after struggling during the 2007, Johnson cried out about how the media treated him and his team, saying, “I was labeled selfish and a cancer, and it hurt…Fingers were pointed at me this year. If the team and the organization wants to further itself (make the playoffs), I think you need to get rid of the problem…It hurt me. To do me that way and not to have my back. Things were said, and nobody came to my defense.”

Based on his production, or lack thereof, I think it would be detrimental to the team even if you toss out the media scrutiny that ultimately follow him where ever his goes regardless if it is Houston or not. I have the ultimate feeling that Chad is probably washed up, I can’t help but think that he should call it a career after his struggles in New England where he had Tom Brady as his quarterback. Brady, the best quarterback Johnson had worked with his entire career, can utilize any average Joe off the streets and make them look like a star receiver, still Johnson struggled and had his worst year yet. In Johnson’s defense, he did not seem fully engaged in the Bill Belichick offensive system, nor did he seem to truly be a part of that team. Maybe during his final year in Cincinnati and only year in New England, he finally came down to earth, as it were, realizing his performance no longer reflected his showmanship, ultimately realizing, his mouth was writing checks, his butt could no longer cash.

Although after mulling it over a lot more, I don’t think it could really hurt to give Johnson a shot in training camp, despite the circus. Even if the Texans invite Johnson to training camp, there are no obligations forcing the Texans to sign Johnson to any sort of contract should he not make the cuts. I think it would only be fair to give the 35 year old a chance at what he can do, especially since there is no pressure on the Texans to sign him at all. I would think there would already by a large gathering of media to observe JJ Watt, and if this offseason goes as I feel it will, ESPN and other major media outlets will be more concerned over what Rex Ryan will do with Tim Tebow and the three ring circus going on in New York.

– Richard Perez

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