Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson is unemployed just one day after being arrested and charged with domestic battery after allegedly head-butting his wife of one month, Evelyn Lozada.
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The Miami Dolphins were reportedly the only team interested in Johnson after two less-than-stallar seasons of career lows in touchdowns, receptions and yardage. And, even then, head coach Joe Philbin wasn’t impressed with what he initially saw from Johnson during training camp, according to ESPN.
Though many feel that this weekend’s arrest was a scapegoat to get rid of Johnson, Philin says other factors came into play.
“Again, it was more a body of evidence from June 11 forward. When he came in on June 11, we sat down and we talked and I was very clear as to the expectations of the program. It just didn’t work out,” he said. “It’s more about the fit; in my gut I didn’t think the fit was going to be beneficial to either party moving forward, whether in the short term or the long term. That’s really what it was all about. It wasn’t about one specific thing; it just wasn’t going to work.”
ESPN NFL analyst Adam Schefter said that Johnson’s release from the Dolphins has essentially made him retroactive to other teams in the league. During an on-air segment of “Sports Center,” Schefter said one NFL executive source told him that Johnson is done and will not play another down of football.
“Then again, Terrell Owens got another shot,” he added. “Randy Moss came back after retirement. You don’t know what happens a year from now when teams have injuries. Perspectives change.”
Though former NFL coach and ESPN analyst Herman Edwards said it may not be that simple during the same segment. He pointed out that Johnson has been struggling during the Dolphins’ training camp and that he had problems learning the New England Patriots’ playbook–a fact that could keep Johnson unemployed.
“So if Chad is no longer in training camp with somebody, he might not be the first guy you want to bring in if someone is hurt,” Edwards said. “Can he learn the system?”
So far, no teams have shown interest in Johnson. And, to make matters worse, VH1 has cancelled his new reality series “Ev and Ocho,” citing the “the seriousness of the allegations” against Johnson.
Eleven episodes were reportedly taped, but VH1 has no plans of airing them.
Terrell Owens was away from the NFL for a year during which he played for the Allen Wranglers, an arena league football club. He was eventually cut from the team. But Owens has since been picked up by the Seattle Seahawks where he is expected to be a significant contributor.
Whether or not Johnson is willing to take a step down to the arena football gridiron is a possibility that remains to be seen.