Decision to keep Larry Johnson not paying off

The Chiefs won a grievance this offseason that enabled them to avoid paying Larry Johnson his previously guaranteed 2009 base salary.

But Johnson worked hard all offseason, and impressed the new Chiefs staff enough to keep him as a starter anyway, despite his lofty salary.

The team could be regretting that decision now. 

Johnson is dead last in yards per carry among the league’s top 50 rushers with a 2.4 average.   He’s getting the ball a lot (fifth in the league in attempts) and not going very far.

Kansas City’s offensive line bears much of the blame, perhaps most of it.  But the Chiefs need a runner that can break tackles or make people miss, and Johnson hasn’t been that guy since Herm Edwards gave the ball to him 416 times in 2006.  They could pay someone a lot less to run into the defense and fall.

The Chiefs are standing by Johnson:

“The kid ran hard,” coach Todd Haley said of Johnson’s 21-carry, 37-yard performance against the Cowboys. “He stuck it in there. He needs a little help, too . . . It wasn’t all great, but Larry was an important part of us being in a position to win.”

Backup Jamaal Charles has provided some big plays, but the team seems hesitant to use him except as a change of pace/third-down back.  Kolby Smith could provide another option soon when he comes off the PUP list.

No matter how hard Johnson is running, he’s not worth the money they are paying him.  And there’s no chance he’ll be back next season.  (That’s why Florio thinks it’s a good idea for Kansas City to deal him now.)

The contract Carl Peterson gave Johnson in 2007 will go down as a terrible use of the Hunt family’s money, and another reminder for all running backs to get their money while they can, because a steep decline could be right around the corner.

22 responses to “Decision to keep Larry Johnson not paying off

  1. They would have let him go, but they knew he wouldn’t catch on anywhere. He’d never be allowed to be an NFL owner, not with all his racist and divisive comments.

  2. if fred taylor is done for the year, the pats should take a look at him, because maroney sucks and sammy morris is going to get hurt. good run blockers in NE(5th in the NFL last year as a team, just in case some jackass hater wants to disagree). they would have to work on that contract though.

  3. Nice move by King Carl: let’s see….Jared Allen or Larry Johnson? Who do we offer the contract extension to and keep? Hmmmm.
    Vikings get possibly the best DE in the game in his prime and a starting center (John Sullivan) in the trade and the Chiefs get……well, they got……yeah. (awkward silence)

  4. Johnson hasn’t been that guy since Herm Edwards gave the ball to him 416 times in 2006.
    ….. well that and the out all night every night nightclubbing.

  5. Scrip Club Lover:
    Most hilarious quote i’ve seen on this board yet!
    This is really hard on her…….

  6. I’ll defend LJ… The kid IS running hard, but when you get hit in the backfield on EVERY attempt, your numbers are going to be lousy. He had exactly 2 holes to run through vs. Dallas, and he ran thru them for 11 yds. and 7 yds. He should be given praise for not reverting to “old LJ” and running his mouth or causing problems. The problem with LJ is the same problem with Cassel and the WRs… NO BLOCKING! With the way the KC offensive line is “playing” (hard to call it that) you could have an 18 wheeler back there and the result would be the same. I have a new idea… Try watching the games before you “report” (hard to call it that) on what you think you know… Dooshbag.

  7. I mean he doesn’t move a muscle after he makes contact with anyone be it one of his own team mates or the opposition. He may be saving himself for another team if he leaves. Haley needs to make a change.

  8. Hey Rosenthal!
    Ya F’n Hog Farmer!
    Change the headline on this thread to “Decision to keep Offensive Line not paying off” and it will have been the most intelligent thing you have ever written.

  9. Larry’s done, so is LT and it looks like Jacobs is not far behind.
    Man it’s tough being a RB in the NFL

  10. “He stuck it in there. He needs a little help, too
    That’s what she said.”
    LJ is running like he is wearing Kleenex boxes for cleats.

  11. the funny thing about it is the last 6 years or so, all Carl Peterson talked about was ” taking care of the Hunt’s money” but as he was happily cashing his fat paychecks, he was signing LJ , Ty Law and other past-their-prime aging vets to huge contracts pissing away Hunt’s money in a desperate attempt to remain at 8-8 to save his ass. then when he should have spent Hunt money on Jared Allen, he traded the ” young man at risk”
    RIP- OMAR ( old man at risk)

  12. I expected a little more out of gran mama. Bad teams have a way of making good players look bad. (vice-versa)

  13. “Shirley” Johnson has never impressed me. Like a guy hitting meaningless homers in a meaningless game in the late innings, show me his heroics. Can’t. Show me the putting your team on your back and winning a game. I can’t, can you?
    He’s me-first guy, good for fantasy though not lately and the Chefs were just being the Chefs when they acquiesced and gave him big dollars.
    Bad attitude, no yards, what’s the point?
    Only bet I ever lost to Chefs fan was when Elway would retire.
    The Chefs. 0-5. Like normal.

  14. To those of you saying King Carl was lousy with the Hunt’s money – If that was the case, how did KC start this season #2 in cap space? How are they the only team that is under the minimum for player spending? You people need to read facts about these things before you re-spew the garbage you read on blog sites. Yes it was time for Carl to go, but to say he was spending too much money is just flat wrong. If he had spent money on the O-line, bringing in fresh young talent instead of letting Vermeil bring in Goerge Allen’s “over-the-hill-gang 2” KC would have had someone to step in when the O-line (that was one of the best in the game just 5 short seasons ago) began to decline/retire. KC needs a total overhaul of the O-line, starting with RT and C. Then RG and a replacement for Waters at LG. Brandon Albert might be good at LT, but we have yet to see any consistency from him yet.
    And I agree with nato2424, T Rich was the steamroller that flattened the way for LJ, they went into a tailspin as soon as he (and Willie Roaf) left the team.

  15. hey cballv11,
    youre right King Carl was a great GM no ego, really knew how to draft too, does he set his cocktail on your head while youre tying his shoes too ?

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