Johnson unlikely to fight deactivation by Chiefs

L.Johnson.jpgThe settlement of running back Larry Johnson’s grievance regarding the two-week suspension imposed on him last week included no terms controlling the future of the relationship.

And so it remains to be seen whether Johnson will be welcomed back into the fold and — perhaps more importantly — onto the field.

As we pointed out last week, the Chiefs cannot tell Johnson to stay home with pay, unless of course he would agree to do so.  Thus, as of Monday, November 9, he’ll be permitted to rejoin the team like any other active member of the 53-man roster.

The murkier question relates to the team’s ability to deactivate Johnson on game days.  But while, as Chris Mortensen of ESPN reported over the weekend, the NFLPA is ready to file another grievance if Johnson isn’t returned to the starting lineup, a league source tells us that Johnson and his agent currently are prepared to accept any decision to deactivate Johnson.

“There’s nothing they can do,” the source said.  “It’s the coach’s decision.”

A decision to deactivate Johnson would entail more than Johnson standing in street clothes (or, in the case of Jevon Kearse, leaving the stadium).  Johnson has a per-game roster bonus that pays him more than $60,000 per game, but only if he is on the active game-day roster.  If he is deactivated, he loses that money.

Even if the union is able to persuade Johnson to fight the matter, there’s a point at which the ability of the coach to run his team overcomes the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.  Previously, an arbitrator was unwilling to find that teams cannot send players home with pay.  The union thereafter inserted language into the labor agreement preventing this tactic.

But the new language says nothing about the decisions that are made regarding the men who will dress and those who won’t for games — or of those who dress, those who will start and those who will play.

Meanwhile, there’s an online petition (novel concept) urging G.M. Scott Pioli to keep Johnson on ice for one important reason — he’s only 80 yards away from becoming the franchise’s all-time leading rusher, and plenty of fans don’t want Johnson’s name in the organization’s record book.

26 responses to “Johnson unlikely to fight deactivation by Chiefs

  1. 80 yards to get the all time record…..with only 8 games left he would have to average 10 yards a game. pretty tough order for that bum!

  2. Why in the hell can the union file anything in regards to a player being deactivated? That has to be the single dumbest thing I have ever seen in my life. That would be a dangerous precedent as it would open the door to every single player who gets deactivated to file a grievance. What the hell is wrong with this situation?

  3. so I just signed this petition. It’ll probably lead nowhere, but a novel concept nonetheless.

  4. Is there a petition to give Todd Haley the Jim Zorn treatment and bring some one else in that knows what they are doing?

  5. I’m amazed that Todd Haley and Scott Pioli feel they can be the PC police. Shouldn’t they be more worried about winning games?

  6. This could get rather interesting.
    What are the odds of Larry Johnson keeping his trap shut if he is deactivated or benched for the remainder of the season? Where’s Danny Sheridan when you need him…

  7. Hey Florio, a story you might want to look at is how John Riggins ripped Redskins owner Daniel Snyder a new one on “Inside the NFL” on Shwotime tonight !
    Ho Lee Crap.
    It was awesome, and about 20 minutes into the program. The other guys on the show, Phil Simms, Warren Sapp, and Cris Collinsworth just sat there in stunned amazement. Of course I think everything he said was probably true.
    And he was on again about another 20 minutes later in a roundtable discussion about the NFL, and was also great there too !

  8. Signed petition, thanks for sharing it.
    Pictures are nice and sweet.
    I swear if you start to put up your mug or the other author’s mug shots like every other news site does I will leave and never return. Some pictures are better left unposted.

  9. This petition crap is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard of. Hey KC fans, maybe you shouldn’t be dissing one of the only good players on your team since Priest Holmes retired.
    Also, at least Larry Johnson knows how to drive a car.

  10. Larry Johnson is finished. Even if he hadn’t opened his idiotic yap, he should have been benched. His take three steps then fall down routine was tired and hurting the team. He can’t play at the pro level anymore.

  11. Barksdale – that is inappropriate. Loss of life is no joking matter.
    By the way, LJ is not very good anymore. Have you watched how slow he is, how he can’t block and can’t find a hole?

  12. The difficulty in winning a grievance under these circumstances is proving that his “inactive” status is “disciplinary” in which case a violation of the CBA… OR a “coaches” decision which is Not. Common sense tells us that the K.C. hierarchy will simply assert that Johnson’s status is in the “best interest of the team” and the coaches decision…….case closed.
    The only remedy for this type of “unilateral”team decisions is to tighten up the players contract with language that prevents obvious and further discipline and “masks” it as otherwise.

  13. @KC_Vols
    In defense of LJ; he’s never been able to block, and right now, there aren’t any holes to find.
    On the other hand, he’s slower than he used to be, and he still is a frickin’ idiot.

  14. This thing in Kansas City with Johnson is facinating from a football perpestive.
    First on Haley and then Pioli. Haley is not qualified to be a Head Coach in the NFL period. He does not have a knock you off your feet resume. He just does not. He had one great year as the OC in Arizona where things broke right and the team got hot. Is that all one needs to be a head coach. It sure as hell looks that way. His lack of great people skills is obvious to all who want to see. He has alienated players every where he has been— Jets, Dallas, Arizona AND now Kansas City. He may be a great OC but Head Coach—–well I am sure he is not that.
    On Pioli, the New England types that come out of there whether as Coaches or Front Office personel types get annointed as great before doing anything that contributes to winning on the field (Mc Daniels may be the exception) when they leave the cocoon and comfort of Belichick or New England. This is brought about by the National Media having a love affair or in some instances being intimated by Belichick. We have no way of knowing if the Patriots were successful because of Belicheck or Pioli because they don’t talk much up there.
    Here is what we do know. The Kansas City Chiefs are worst now than the were under Edwards. They can’t run. They can’t pass. They can’t stop anyone on defense and oh by the way they are getting poor QB play from Matt Casell. It is not a strech to say the Chiefs are in disarray and the Pioli era has not gotten off to a rousing start.
    Finally, Larry Johnson is needed, not for his ability to run between the tackles —–Jim Brown
    would’nt be effective behind that OL but to DEFLECT ATTENTION away from Haley and Pioli. Ultimately an organization is a reflection of it’s leaders and Pioli and Haley are those leaders.

  15. “Bobarian says: In defense of LJ; he’s never been able to block”
    Uhhh, how in the hell is that statement defending him??

  16. umm i think they were pointing out that you shouldn’t be using his inability to block as a reason for him no longer being able to play at an nfl level if it was something he was never able to do to begin with.

  17. i don’t know if i think the union should support johnson in fighting anything here.
    regarding being activated – this is the team and coach’s decision. how can the union tell a team who to activate & play?
    if i was the chiefs, i’d just have him dress but not play for the remainder of the games. if LJ wants to fight that, i’d be curious to see what grounds he has.
    i still don’t understand how the union or the NFLPA can challenge a coach’s strategy or who a coach wants to suit up on gameday.

  18. @ Kiera620 – That was exactly my point. In fact, as bad as he blocks now, he’s worlds better than he used to be.
    @texasPHINSfan – I think the union should protect him only in as much if the Chiefs organization is using their actions to punish Johnson above and beyond their stated sanctions.

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