After the Chiefs decided to dump veteran tailback Larry Johnson, the Redskins had internal discussions regarding the possibility of acquiring him.
Per a league source, a split of opinion exists within the organization, with some folks in a position of influence interested, but others resisting the notion of adding Johnson.
Waiver claims can be made through 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, with priority determined based on current won-loss records. Anyone who claims Johnson would inherit the remainder of his $4.55 million base salary and $60,000 per-game roster bonus.
If he clears waivers, Johnson will become an unrestricted free agent, able to sign with any team — and also free to collect the balance of his base salary from the Chiefs as termination pay.
Despite a suggestion two weeks ago that the Chiefs had decided to cut Johnson, the truth is that the team wrestled with the decision. Due to the fact that Johnson will still get paid by the Chiefs if not claimed on waivers, the team gave serious consideration to keeping him on the team. But because players no longer can be sent home with pay, the Chiefs would have been required to allow him into the facility for practices and meetings.
As recently as the weekend, it appeared that the Chiefs would welcome Johnson back, and then decide each week put him on the active game-day roster. Despite suggestions that the union would fight such a move, Johnson had no plans to contest that approach — primarily since the current labor deal does not infringe so deeply into the prerogative of the league’s coaches.
If not claimed on waivers, look for Johnson to carefully pick his next team based on whether and to what extent he’d be playing in January. With an uncapped year on tap for March 2010, a strong performance by Johnson in the postseason could get him in line for another nice pay day.