Less than two years ago, it looked like Chad Johnson’s football career was over when the Miami Dolphins cut him following domestic violence charges. However, the 36-year-old wide receiver could possibly get a second chance in the Canadian Football League.
NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport tweeted that the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes want to work Johnson out in Vero Beach, Florida. Obviously this isn’t the same as a shot in the NFL, which he may never get again. But the Alouettes are certainly one of the CFL’s best and this is a good opportunity for an aging receiver.
Johnson has had a strong football career with 11,059 receiving yards and 67 touchdowns in 11 seasons, most of them spent in Cincinnati. The lone season that Johnson played for a different team, the New England Patriots, he had a disastrous 2011 campaign where he only caught 15 passes and had 276 receiving yards.
Formerly named Chad Ochocinco, after a name change, Johnson has failed to gain any traction in the NFL since 2011. Coming into the 2012 training camp, it seemed like he would make the Dolphins’ final cuts. However, he was famously cut during an episode of HBO’s Hard Knocks (see below) following the aforementioned domestic violence charges.
As for the Montreal Alouettes, they’re looking for some firepower after losing 19-16 to the Tiger Cats in the East Semi-Final last season. The Alouettes have been one of the CFL’s more successful teams in the last six years. During this span, they’ve won two Grey Cups, made three Grey Cup appearances, won six East titles, and have won 67 games against 41 losses.
With this much success, Montreal definitely isn’t bringing Johnson in just to be some sideshow act. Instead, they’re looking for a guy who can give their receiving corp more punch and lead them back to the Grey Cup.
It’s hard to tell how much Johnson has left in the tank at 36. But seeing as how he’s not even two years removed from his last NFL stint, and he’s had two seasons to heal from minor injuries, Johnson could certainly contribute something. And even if he doesn’t play anywhere close to the level that he did with the Bengals, at least he’ll sell tickets for the Alouettes.