View Full Version : Chiefs Need Johnson

Hammock Parties
04-27-2007, 12:19 PM

Last week I said the Chiefs should make running back Larry Johnson the highest-paid player in team history.

Judging by a report from ESPNís Michael Smith on Wednesday, thatís exactly what LJ wants to be.

Apparently Johnson is seeking an eight-year, $80 million deal with $34 million guaranteed. Thatís a sizable chunk of change for any player, regardless of his talent. Is Johnson worth that payday?

Yes. The simple truth of the matter is that Johnson is more worthy of that deal than most. The Chiefs should be the team to give it to him and, quite frankly, they owe him more than any other team in the league.

Johnson has racked up 4,292 yards from scrimmage (more than LaDainian Tomlinson) and 40 total touchdowns over the last two seasons. Heís taken a relentless pounding during that time frame but has not missed a quarter, let alone an entire game. He has done all of this while being paid peanuts in return Ė according to NFLPA.org, Johnson barely made $1.3 million combined in 2005 and 2006.

The Chiefs owe Johnson, just as they owed Priest Holmes after the 2002 season.

But more importantly, they owe themselves and they owe the town of Kansas City. As I stated on Friday, Johnson is KCís meal ticket. The team is a collection of past-their-prime veterans, average journeymen and inexperienced young players without him, and will be lucky to win six games should he depart.

Johnson is worth far more to the Chiefs in red and gold than he is in any other uniform. Even if heís traded for a few draft picks (and the Chiefs wonít get much in return, probably not even so much as two first-round picks), thatís no guarantee of future success.

When the Colts traded Marshall Faulk following the 1998 season, they received second and fifth-round picks in return. Those picks became linebacker Mike Peterson (now a Jaguar) and defensive end Brad Scioli (now a nobody). The trade was really of no benefit to Indianapolis, as it wasnít until eight seasons later that they won the Super Bowl Ė and they didnít even accomplish that a year ago with Faulkís successor, Edgerrin James. They missed the best years of Faulkís career.

The Chiefs arenít even in a position to pick a player like James, should they dump Johnson. The Colts were extremely fortunate to hold a high pick in the very same offseason they traded Faulk. Kansas City will be forced to play an unproven rookie behind a patchwork offensive line or, even worse, go to a running back by committee system featuring the glasslike Michael Bennett and a host of other spares (perhaps Donnell Bennett is available).

And how about the town? The Chiefs are already a second-tier franchise in the grand NFL scheme of things. They werenít awarded a primetime game at Arrowhead Stadium this year. The deal to bring a Super Bowl to Arrowhead Stadium fell through a year ago.

Without a marquee player, the Chiefs and Kansas City fall completely off the NFL map. Right now Johnsonís mug is slapped all over a banner promoting season ticket sales on KcChiefs.com. Without him, who do the Chiefs promote as their main draw?

Tony Gonzalez has scored a whopping seven touchdowns over the past two seasons and is on the decline (who knows what sort of coverage heíll draw without Johnson). Ty Law is at the tail end of his career and will soon be replaced.

Without Johnson, the Chiefs become the Houston Texans (come and see the spectacular DeMeco Ryans!), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (our quarterbackís father won a Super Bowl in 1990!) and Cleveland Browns (Jim Brown is still around here somewhere!).

To put it bluntly, they become the Kansas City Cheaps.

On a positive note, trading Johnson might breathe new life into KCís rivalry with the Oakland Raiders. That is to say, the Raiders might actually beat the Chiefs a few times this decade.

Itís not surprising that the Buffalo Bills are the team reportedly expressing the most interest in Johnson. They have no marketable stars (Marv Levy!), a stadium badly in need of retirement and a fan base thatís quickly becoming disgruntled due to a tightwad owner (Ralph Wilson).

Johnson puts the Bills on the map. If they are willing to pay him, the Chiefs should honestly be ashamed not to.

This is the new NFL. Peyton Manning got almost $100 million. Michael Vick got $130 million. Johnson isnít perfect, but neither are those two players. Manningís teammates carried him in the playoffs last season (has Johnson ever turned the ball over three times in one game?) and VickÖwell, letís just say he gave a whole new meaning to ďthe dirty birdĒ down in Atlanta. His play speaks for itself.

49ersí cornerback Nate Clements is currently making more than Johnson. Chiefsí defensive end Eric Hicks was paid more over the past two seasons. Itís a slap in the face to deny LJ of what is rightfully his.

The Chiefs have no other mega-superstars. Really, they havenít had one in a long time, no one that commanded a contract in this league. Itís not hard to see why theyíre so intimidated by this situation.

Chiefs President/GM Carl Peterson and Clark Hunt need to pay up. Petersonís legacy may be defined by how he handles this situation. This is Clarkís first big hurdle as the owner.

Is giving Johnson $80 million scary? Yes.

But itís even scarier to think what the Chiefs will become without him.

04-27-2007, 12:24 PM
Chiefsí defensive end Eric Hicks

Good boy.

Mr. Laz
04-27-2007, 12:25 PM
becoming more and more like Whitlock all the time.

Hammock Parties
04-27-2007, 12:26 PM
becoming more and more like Whitlock all the time.


04-27-2007, 12:26 PM
How naive to think that in today's NFL a team owes anything to a player, or vice versa.

04-27-2007, 12:27 PM
I don't agree with the, "past their prime vets, average journeyman, and inexperienced young players." quote. I think KC has a pretty solid mix of high playing level vets, and good young players. Donnie Edwards, Ty Law, and Pat Surtain are still playing good football. And young players like Derrick Johnson, LJ, Tamba Hali, and Jared Allen all have a lot of experience for their age.

04-27-2007, 12:28 PM
The Chiefs have no other mega-superstars. Really, they havenít had one in a long time, no one that commanded a contract in this league. Itís not hard to see why theyíre so intimidated by this situation.

Gonzo: "What am I, chopped liver?"

04-27-2007, 12:29 PM
Another good article, GoChiefs. Your writing continues to improve, IMO.

the Talking Can
04-27-2007, 12:38 PM
I disagree, but the article is better written than usual...

Tribal Warfare
04-27-2007, 12:44 PM

you racist bastard

04-27-2007, 12:46 PM
Maybe you should change the title to "Chiefs Need Larry Johnson". Right now it's kinda gh3y

04-27-2007, 12:47 PM
you racist bastardWhat? He didn't say "Nappylock"

Hammock Parties
04-27-2007, 12:48 PM
BTW...dig my graphic.

http://img442.imageshack.us/img442/332/425898nj5.gif (http://imageshack.us)

04-27-2007, 12:50 PM
If they can structure the contract right I would be for keeping him IF HE REALLY WANT TO BE HERE. not $$$$ alone.

Some voidable items on getting in trouble (DUI's) beating up GFs.

Backload with Anuity like baseball players get.....