Sports Now

Sports news from Los Angeles and beyond

« Previous Post | Sports Now Home | Next Post »

Wednesday's question of the day: Does Larry Johnson deserve another chance?

November 11, 2009 |  1:13 pm


Does former Kansas City running back Larry Johnson deserve another chance, and if so with which team?

Reporters from around the Tribune family tackle the question of the day, then you get a chance to chime in and tell them why they are wrong.

Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times

Does Larry Johnson deserve to play again? Yes. If you’re going to say that everybody who acts like an idiot at one point or another should be denied the right to play, you wouldn’t be able to field one team, let alone 32. The question is, which teams are so desperate to generate some kind of ground attack that they’re willing to take a soon-to-be-30, moody sulker whose skills are clearly on the slide? (Then again, a year ago, the same could be said of Cedric Benson, and now he’s the league’s second-leading rusher.) Maybe a team such as the New England Patriots could squeeze some last drops of value out of him the way they helped reboot the careers of Corey Dillon, Randy Moss and others. If the league were to slam the door on Johnson, it wouldn’t be because of his ridiculous Twitter postings, but because of his string of incidents involving women at Kansas City nightspots. Last season, for instance, one woman accused him of throwing a drink at her, and another said he pushed her head. As bad as those things sound, they don’t warrant kicking him out of the league. But the sentiment of a lot of Chiefs fans should tell you something: He’s somebody else’s problem now.

Ken Murray, Baltimore Sun

Obviously, Michael Vick got a second chance, so Larry Johnson deserves one, too. But not without stipulations. Johnson needs a sensitivity class to start with. He needs to learn that it's the media's job to ask questions. He needs to learn some humility and some respect. Furthermore, he needs to learn to act like a professional, a problem he's had throughout his career, if not his life.

If Vick needed to show remorse, the same should hold true for Johnson, especially since this isn't his first time making these incendiary remarks. He's become the stereotypical self-important, arrogant pro: when things are going well, he can endure his football obligations. When things aren't going well, he dismisses everything, including civility.

Who might take him? The UFL might. His image matches the Raiders. But the team that probably could use him most is the Browns, who have a way-past-his-prime Jamal Lewis to carry the load. Johnson should sit for a while, though.