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Gut feeling: Larry Johnson's days as a Chief are limited, if not over



  • larry-johnson-action-101609
    Chiefs RB Larry Johnson

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Posted Oct. 28, 2009 @ 5:53 p.m.
Updated Oct. 06, 2010 @ 7:27 p.m.
By Eric Edholm

I know I am not the first to chime in on this here, but all day I have had the suspicion that Larry Johnson is done in Kansas City.

And his racial slur, plus calling out Todd Haley, is not the lone reason. Johnson's game is in serious decline, even if the rest of the offense hasn't held up its end of the deal either.

I reached out to a league official, who wasn't in the mood to speculate on Johnson's immediate future, but when I asked him if he thought the team might have been looking for a reason to get rid of him, likely after the season, he said, "No question it seems that way."

Johnson has never been a great soldier (other than his hard running in 2005 and '06) there, especially not after Haley came. The interesting part of the whole deal is that Johnson has gotten a ton of chances. He has 132 carries in seven games, which is fourth most in the NFL and only six fewer than Adrian Peterson has received. Johnson's 2.7-yard average and long run of 17 yards, however, speak volumes about how much he has left in the tank.

And the Chiefs might just ciphon what's left in there now and end this thing. They've had it, the way it seems. They might just suspend the guy for the rest of the season and call it a wrap. I expect them to hold no quarter here.

Why not? In a weird way, this might be the perfect tonesetting opportunity for Haley and Scott Pioli to establish their reign, cutting a malcontent who was on the downside anyway. They would show they mean business. Can they live without Johnson the rest of the season? Why not? Running backs are plentiful; there are two dozen guys on the street who can average 2.7 yards a clip for this team.

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