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Larry Johnson on way to Cincinnati

It looks like the Bengals will keep collecting reclamation projects at running back.

ESPN’s Michael Smith is reporting that Larry Johnson is currently en route to Cincinnati.  Barring a breakdown in talks, L.J. is expected to sign with the Bengals.

Soon after Cedric Benson was hurt Sunday, Mike Florio passed along growing rumors that Johnson could land with the Bengals.  PFT previously reported Saturday that the Bengals were on a short list to potentially add Johnson, and that was when Benson was fully healthy.

Now it appears Benson will get the chance to take the older Johnson under his wing and show him how to turn his career around.  (Oh boy.)

The Bengals said Sunday that Benson would be ready for this week’s game against Oakland. Johnson’s arrival could allow the team to play it safe with their lead back.

Either way, the Bengals backfield is about to get a lot more interesting.  And combustible.

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52 Responses to “Larry Johnson on way to Cincinnati”
  1. SmackMyVickUp says: Nov 16, 2009 1:24 PM

    At least it let’s the Chiefs off the hook with his contract. Still can’t imagine him staying past this year.

  2. Asswipe Johnson (Pronounced Az-Wee-Pay) says: Nov 16, 2009 1:25 PM

    Good move for the Bengals. Striking while it’s hot as 3 NFL starting running backs (Jones-Sea, Turner-Atl) went down to injury this weekend. Johnson wouldn’t have stayed on the market for long…

  3. Bearfan54 says: Nov 16, 2009 1:28 PM

    Benson will act just like he did when he played for Chicago and had to play second fiddle to Thomas Jones. He’ll act like a little Bitch. I can’t wait for this thing to explode. Ego’s will collide!

  4. CurseofBoJackson says: Nov 16, 2009 1:28 PM

    I feel like this, either there are injury problems we don’t know about (I thought Scott got dinged towards the end of the game yesterday) or Mikey Boy is actually playing smart and setting us up to allow Benson to get some rest for the stretch run? I really don’t know what to think here, on the one hand, i am pissed that we would pursue him, but on the other, I wouldn’t mind him as the 2 RB if Benny Scott is gonna take over returning kicks permanently, just don’t sign him for next year, PLEASE don’t do that.

  5. shinsnake says: Nov 16, 2009 1:28 PM

    I think this team is too tight to let Larry Johnson screw that up, no matter who he slurs. However, I hope like Hell this doesn’t happen. I don’t like outright racists on the team I root for.

  6. Karlo$ says: Nov 16, 2009 1:30 PM

    I am sure Larry will be a model citizen as long as the Bengals keep winning. He can share carries with Bernard Scott while Cedric Benson’s hip flexor heals up so the team will be at full strength for the stretch run against the Vikings, Chargers, Chiefs and Jets. WHO DEY!

  7. Legend of Josh says: Nov 16, 2009 1:31 PM

    Yes, there’s that possibility of LJ being cancerous to what seems to be a fully functional Bengals team, but I say take the risk.
    As long as LJ knows his role, that Benson is our # 1 back, and LJ playing second fiddle, I think this would make Carson Palmer’s passing game even more destructive to opposing teams.
    Let it be known however, this certainly is a risk. If LJ seems to keep his head tucked between his legs for awhile, knowing his role if you will… it could turn out that after the season progresses (and once the playoffs begin) LJ might be looking wanting a little bit more of the limelight.
    Right now the Bengals are in a position to do something special this year… so “what if” something were to unfortunately happen to our star Benson… we’d need someone with enough talent to fill his role or else we’d be toast as opposing teams would pick-apart Palmer’s passing threat.
    I’m not totally sold on this… but I ask let’s being in LJ.

  8. Mikebrown_suckit says: Nov 16, 2009 1:31 PM

    Here we go National Media and Bengals haters all around. It will be for the rest of the year and with C-Ben getting dinged up, its a good signing. If we signed him 3 years ago, yeah the locker room would be really bad, but this isnt the same team and they have enough Vets to keep his loud mouth shut. Also playing against his old team right away and he’ll get the rock a few times. Biggest question will he be happy as a backup if Ced is really healthy?

  9. chief says: Nov 16, 2009 1:33 PM

    December 27

  10. texasPHINSfan says: Nov 16, 2009 1:33 PM

    larry should get used to wearing stripes

  11. capitala23 says: Nov 16, 2009 1:37 PM

    I really hope they dont sign him, seems like a total arrogant tool. Hope he comes in with a good attitude or the rest of the team straightens him out. The only positives i see from this is that it gives Benson some needed rest against some bad teams so we have him for the tough matchups and playoffs. Also the Bengals play Oakland, San Diego and the Chiefs, all teams Johnson is familiar with, so that could help in game planning. I say after everyone is healthy and the Bengals have locked their playoff spot they should cut him.

  12. summerfart says: Nov 16, 2009 1:38 PM

    good luck larry! I hope you and Slim and Tank Johnson are happy that Cincy is a place for old NFL felons to go and die.

  13. Bill Cowher's Chin says: Nov 16, 2009 1:40 PM

    # SmackMyVickUp says: November 16, 2009 1:24 PM
    At least it let’s the Chiefs off the hook with his contract. Still can’t imagine him staying past this year.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Someone like Florio would know more about this than me, but I dont think it works that same as Coaches contracts, I think Larry Johnson gets his full salary from the Chiefs, and any salary from his new team…

  14. WhoDey75 says: Nov 16, 2009 1:42 PM

    This deal only gets done because the Bengals can sign Johnson for almost nothing (as the Chiefs still have to pick up the rest of his original contract.) Brown probably thinks that LJ will help the Bengals prepare for their three remainins AFC West games (Oakland, KC and San Diego.) Although that didn’t help at all when we signed the Texans old long snapper the week before we played Houston.
    Hopefully this allows the Bengals to improve their running game (see Miami or Carolina) with two feature backs.
    Either that, or Mike Brown feels like he needs to rehab a new troubled youth after Slim broke his arm and landed on IR.
    At least it makes the KC game interesting.

  15. shinsnake says: Nov 16, 2009 1:46 PM

    One thing no one has mentioned is that this could be a panic move. They may not know anything definitively on Benson yet, but with all the other injuries this weekend, they don’t want to get caught out in the cold if they need a running back. That sounds more plausible, knowing Mike Brown. Regardless, I hope it fall through.

  16. steelnuts says: Nov 16, 2009 1:48 PM

    I can’t imagine anything going wrong with Benson, LJ, and the mouth all on the same team….

  17. ninjapleazee says: Nov 16, 2009 1:49 PM

    I’m starting to feel bad for the bungles… can’t wait to hear Benson cry again like he did while playing with Thomas Jones in Chicago.

  18. ashlyp says: Nov 16, 2009 1:52 PM

    I think it’s really nice that LJ lands on an 8-1 team after being in KC. He’s getting rewarded for making racist statements and questioning his coach. I wonder what would happen if I did that at my job? I would definitely get transferred to a better office in beautiful San Diego! I’m going to start tweeting right now! Maybe I’ll spit on a co-worker while I’m at it. Probably get a raise.

  19. hayward giablommi says: Nov 16, 2009 1:55 PM

    Will this finally put a merciful end to the LJ to the Patriots rumors?

  20. ilivincin97 says: Nov 16, 2009 1:56 PM

    Whoa, love it. He will shut his mouth, bc now, he is on a playoff team. Haha, Who Dey!

  21. gooboy6 says: Nov 16, 2009 1:57 PM

    LJ= trouble, watch out Bengals you gotta good thing going on

  22. silverreign says: Nov 16, 2009 1:57 PM

    i like the move….start rotating andre smith in at line towards the end of the game….fresh line, fresh legs.

  23. BengalsDouche2 says: Nov 16, 2009 1:59 PM

    Yeah I’m definitely on the fence about this signing. We do need another back since it’s obvious that all the carries Bratkowski is giving Ced is catching up to him. But I can’t seem to stop worrying about LJ’s history as a team cancer.

  24. Sicknature says: Nov 16, 2009 1:59 PM

    It would make sense. Benson is getting alot of carries and eventually he will slow down. If the Bengals want to go to Miami, there’s alot of football to be played, and having LJ, will allow the Bengals to 1) rest Benson more and 2) use the same running scheme when LJ plays, because he resembles Benson as a runner, than Scott does.
    LJ is talented, but he has to show his worth, and Bengals would be a good place to do that.

  25. BasicInstinct says: Nov 16, 2009 2:00 PM

    Larry Johnson may be a bitcher, but he can’t complain about the prospects of getting some work with a playoff team.
    Bengals are so lucky to be able to handle someone like LJ.
    Atlanta is too shellshocked from the Michael Vick incident to have gone for LJ, although it would have been a really smart move.
    LJ was just bitching in order to get moved.
    And, his bitching goes all the way back to Dick Vermeil who treated him like sh*t.

  26. allenjohnsonaj123 says: Nov 16, 2009 2:01 PM

    AHAHAHAHAHAHA….The Bungles Strike AGAIN. HAHAHA. You were so close to having a good season. If Marvin Lewis is dumb enough to think that hes gonna bring in LJ with ochocinco and benson already there you can kiss this season goodbye. Bengals will enter playoffs on a slide bc of this and lose their first playoff game. i hate to see this when i was actually rooting for them this year. If you have Scott and Leonard, why would you take this risk, Marvin? As a good friend of mine, Diabolical Hater, would say ” Bengals?..3rd best in that division when its all said and done”

  27. bearsrule says: Nov 16, 2009 2:06 PM

    They must be fairly worried about Benson’s injury. The timing is suspicious.

  28. Burritto says: Nov 16, 2009 2:09 PM

    I heard Lawrence Phillips just petitioned his warden for transfer to a Cincinncati-area prison…

  29. hineswardcriesafterfumbling says: Nov 16, 2009 2:11 PM

    i actually really like this move. Scott showed sunday that he can be a competent back up for benson. but johnson is a more physical back than scott, and with benson being the work horse, they need to give him a break.
    from what i’ve read, johnson was focused in the offseason, and was in the best shape he’s been in. with KC’s oline, he never had a shot.
    Benson is still number 1, far and above any of the backups. the bengals will get him for the veteran’s minimum. huge boom potential, small bust potential. if he acts up, they aren’t on the hook for much money. if he’s sick nasty, the mike brown is a genius. marvin better have the final say though.
    i love how the ocho is somehow a factor. he’s had less off-field legal issues than marvin harrison, larry fitzgerald, santonio holmes. yet half the people here are comparing him to rae carruth.

  30. Cincy007 says: Nov 16, 2009 2:12 PM

    I’ll take LJ for 750k for the rest of the year. Let’s hope he fallows Tank and Benson’s lead on the 2nd chance front.

  31. jm91rs says: Nov 16, 2009 2:20 PM

    If you give a guy a contract for the last 7 games of the season, you KNOW he’s going to keep his mouth shut. The guy is an idiot, but we all know he wants his pay day. If he keeps his mouth shut and handles whatever duties the team gives him, he has a chance for a multi year deal somewhere (no where near what he was getting though I’m sure).
    As long as they are very clear with both players that Benson is the starter and LJ his backup, I can’t see why Benson would have a problem.
    If he comes in and blows up that locker room then he’s done forever, he knows that. He’s smart enough to know his role for a 7 week stretch (plus playoffs I hope).

  32. jm91rs says: Nov 16, 2009 2:23 PM

    I was very tired of all that “benson bowl talk” a few weeks back, now we get it all again with a “LJ bowl” against the Chiefs.

  33. jrhsd says: Nov 16, 2009 2:24 PM

    for all saying the Chiefs picked up Larry’s salary, that isn’t really true.
    when he cleared waivers they basically bought him out for what was owed him.
    Now the Bengals will pay him every penny he signed for.

  34. Deb says: Nov 16, 2009 2:25 PM

    Maybe sitting at home a couple of weeks gave LJ time to think. And maybe his dad the coach had a talk with him about character issues. Surely the Bengals made it clear they won’t tolerate his garbage … and #85′s not going to give up the spotlight to a new guy :-) So IF Benson’s injury turns out to be serious, Johnson’s a good back and Lewis was probably smart to grab him ahead of the other needy teams. But it’s a shame to have to bring a potentially toxic influence into a tight locker room at this stage.

  35. Thomas Paquette says: Nov 16, 2009 2:29 PM

    go to news.cincinnati.com/sports and read the article regarding larry johnson. It says that he would be added as an insurance policy and on game days would most likely be inactive.

  36. CurseofBoJackson says: Nov 16, 2009 2:31 PM

    allen, that’s ignorant and you step all over yourself. “hahahahaha, Bungles” followed “I am really rooting for the Bengals,” what a backhanded ass kisser, piss off dude. Chad is nothing like what some folks think of him, he’s a team player, wants to win, and although he “went through some things” last year, is a better teammate for it. As far as Benson goes, please, Benson’s not going to let an older largely washed up back get under his skin, he’s here next year, LJ won’t be.
    Lame post allenjohnson, lame.

  37. ilivincin97 says: Nov 16, 2009 2:33 PM

    allenjohnsonaj123 says:
    November 16, 2009 2:01 PM
    AHAHAHAHAHAHA….The Bungles Strike AGAIN. HAHAHA. You were so close to having a good season. If Marvin Lewis is dumb enough to think that hes gonna bring in LJ with ochocinco and benson already there you can kiss this season goodbye. Bengals will enter playoffs on a slide bc of this and lose their first playoff game. i hate to see this when i was actually rooting for them this year. If you have Scott and Leonard, why would you take this risk, Marvin? As a good friend of mine, Diabolical Hater, would say ” Bengals?..3rd best in that division when its all said and done”
    We don’t care what you or your friend think, LJ can only help. He will get moving or get cut, it’s up to him. This could turn out to be the best move of his life, or his last NFL chance. The Brown family are known for giving troubled players a second chance, hope he realizes this and cleans up his act. Everyone sees now that TJ was the cancer, not Chad. And man, the team you call the third best is undefeated in the division, with one game against the Brownies to go. WHO DEY to all, and to all who hate, go F your selves.

  38. Fear Da Tiger says: Nov 16, 2009 2:36 PM

    It sure would be tough for the Bengals to slide to third in the division with a 7-2 record (including 5-0 in the North). But then again, I wouldn’t expect intelligent commentary from Steelers or Ravens fans…

  39. BearNDesert says: Nov 16, 2009 2:38 PM

    The thought of Larry Johnson playing “second fiddle” to Cedric Benson would have been laughable 3 months ago, and I doubt L.J. sees himself as a back-up.
    This could get ugly. One too many thugs, racists and malcontents spoil the broth.
    B-N-D

  40. Slow Joe says: Nov 16, 2009 2:39 PM

    # SmackMyVickUp says: November 16, 2009 1:24 PM
    At least it let’s the Chiefs off the hook with his contract. Still can’t imagine him staying past this year.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Someone like Florio would know more about this than me, but I dont think it works that same as Coaches contracts, I think Larry Johnson gets his full salary from the Chiefs, and any salary from his new team…

    The opportunity to let “the Chiefs off the hook” disappeared when Johnson cleared waivers. The Chiefs now have to pay him the balance of his 2009 salary as termination pay. And pay from the Bengals will NOT offset any monies owed by the Chiefs.

  41. Mizzou1839 says: Nov 16, 2009 2:45 PM

    SmackMyVickUp: No, the Chiefs are not ‘off the hook’ for LJ’s contract. Since LJ was not taken off the waiver wire, the Chiefs are paying the rest of his salary for this season. That is probably why he was not taken off of waivers; teams knew that if they waited until he cleared waivers, they could sign him and not be responsible for the $2.5mm he will be earning.

  42. 1IH says: Nov 16, 2009 2:46 PM

    “shinsnake says:
    November 16, 2009 1:28 PM
    I think this team is too tight to let Larry Johnson screw that up, no matter who he slurs. However, I hope like Hell this doesn’t happen. I don’t like outright racists on the team I root for.”
    “ashlyp says:
    November 16, 2009 1:52 PM
    I think it’s really nice that LJ lands on an 8-1 team after being in KC. He’s getting rewarded for making racist statements and questioning his coach. I wonder what would happen if I did that at my job? I would definitely get transferred to a better office in beautiful San Diego! I’m going to start tweeting right now! Maybe I’ll spit on a co-worker while I’m at it. Probably get a raise.”
    Which statements did he make that were RACIST?
    He used a phrase (via Twitter and verbally to reporters) that was regarding Homosexuals, he said nothing I can find that can be considered RACIST? Just in case you weren’t aware, homosexuals are not a different race they just choose a different lifestyle.
    Now stop with the BS regarding this and have some faith in the ability of this franchise to help a man turn his life around or they will cut bait and run as in Brooks and Thurman.

  43. realityonetwo says: Nov 16, 2009 2:46 PM

    3rd best in the division? With the next three games being vs. Oakland, Cleveland and Detroit? Keep dreaming…

  44. cdedrummer says: Nov 16, 2009 2:50 PM

    A RB is only as good as his O-Line. Ask Benson. LJ had no line in KC and will benefit from a great O-Line in Cincy. That is a dangerous 1-2 punch out of the backfield for Cincy. Great signing for the Bengals if true.

  45. Deb says: Nov 16, 2009 2:56 PM

    @Fear Da Tigers …
    There’s been a lot of intelligent and respectful commentary from Steelers fans giving the Bengals their due on the “Week Ten Aftermath Bengals/Steelers” and the “Bengals Take Control of AFC” threads. As for Ravens fans, well … nah, you’ve had some props from them as well.

  46. shinsnake says: Nov 16, 2009 3:00 PM

    1TH
    He said that he didn’t want to play for a white coach because they didn’t really “get where he was coming from.” He felt that a black coach could inherently coach him better. He’s a racist and my memory is longer than last week’s press clippings. You should probably check a little harder next time.

  47. jwill007 says: Nov 16, 2009 3:20 PM

    “Benson will act just like he did when he played for Chicago and had to play second fiddle to Thomas Jones. He’ll act like a little Bitch. I can’t wait for this thing to explode. Ego’s will collide!”
    LMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!! A football fan that knows nothing about the situation looking for the witty 1 liners….LOL LJ will be inactive and Benson aint goin nowhere I would think after he put up 189 on your SOFT DEFENSE you would be a little quieter but thats cool bitter fans are everywhere…It is what it is…..

  48. 1IH says: Nov 16, 2009 3:24 PM

    Shinsnake,
    No disrespect intended toward you, butt I can’t find an actual MEDIA Professional (aka reporter) quoting Johnson as saying anything like you are mentioning. I have found several COMMENTS on Blogs where ‘commenters’ like you and Eye say “he said he can’t be coached by a white coach” butt again nowhere do I see any quotes attributed to 1 Mr. Larry Johnson RB.
    If you disagree with me sir, then you are probably a racist……ok so I stole that last line from Greg Gutfeld but I have been waiting to use it for a long time so there it goes.
    OneEyedHito

  49. jasncondit says: Nov 16, 2009 3:47 PM

    shinsnake says:
    November 16, 2009 1:28 PM
    I think this team is too tight to let Larry Johnson screw that up, no matter who he slurs. However, I hope like Hell this doesn’t happen. I don’t like outright racists on the team I root for.
    Shinsnake – While I 100% disagree with Larry Johnson’s hateful words they are not “racist” words. Being a homosexual is not a “race”. And though I 100% disagree with the homosexual lifestyle they are given free will just like I have to do right or wrong and it doesn’t help them to have someone saying words to hurt someone else.
    If anything it makes Larry Johnson and insensitive jerk not a racist. Homosexuals like to lump themselves in with blacks, native americans, and hispanic/latinos. Totally different situations.

  50. shinsnake says: Nov 16, 2009 4:18 PM

    To all that say Larry isn’t a racist, I can only let his words speak for him:
    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=hill/061204
    “The one thing we hate is to have somebody who is not African-American come in and say, ‘You’ve got to do this,’” Johnson said. “No matter how you put it, it looks like you’re telling me what to do and you don’t know where I’m from and what I’ve got to live through.”
    Anyone who doesn’t feel like he can let another person of another color be his boss, that person is racist. Period.

  51. shinsnake says: Nov 16, 2009 4:24 PM

    Another link for those who wonder if LJ is racist:
    http://www.damonjsmith.com/radio_shows/column1.html

  52. stnmmc says: Nov 16, 2009 4:32 PM

    here is an excerpt of the interview where LJ’s racist comments were made. This was found on an old ESPlagiarizersN page 2 column by Jemele Hill.
    “They hadn’t been in a situation as a young, black athlete and know what we had to go through when we go out,” Johnson told interviewer Cris Carter about the previous coaching staff under Dick Vermeil. “We like to go out. We like to have fun, but then you have to worry about the guy around the corner with the gun. You’ve got to worry about this girl on the block. You’ve got to worry about your parents, your homeboys taking advantage of you. So many things you have to worry about being a young, black athlete. And to be able to have a father like mine and a coach like Herm, I was able to escape a lot of those realities and find myself in a new ray of light.”
    The best part of this is how LJ tries to portray growing up and living a tough life. i grew up in State College, watched Larry play all through high shool, and I can assure you that he never had a hard day in his life, aside from the usual teenage crap we all deal with. Football is king in that town, if you have ever been there on a PSU home game day you know what I mean, and thus being a stud player, with a father who coached at PSU, he was able to get anything and everything he could have ever wanted.
    Besides, did playing for a white coach affect his great high school numbers? Or breaking 2,000 yards his senior year at PSU? I am not convinced that he is racist, merely a spoiled little brat who is not getting what he wants and is ready to take his ball and go home. But, alas, the NFL is full of those who will coddle these morons as long as they have talent, as evidenced by the Steeler’s (my team btw) treatment of James Harrison versus Cedrick Wilson.
    What kind of world do we live in where a jack a$$ like this is monetarily more valuable than a doctor, educator, fire fighter/police officer? Our obsession with entertainment and easy living will only hurt us down the road, quite possibly sooner rather than later. If you don’t believe me look at how well it turned out for the Romans.

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