For a happy-go-lucky, media-savvy guy, Chad Johnson didn’t last long as an NFL player in his own home town.
The Miami Dolphins showed the charismatic wide receiver, until recently known as Chad Ochocinco, the door about 24 hours after his arrest in a domestic battery case involving his wife, “Basketball Wives” star Evelyn Lozada, over the weekend.
Coach Joe Philbin cut Johnson just as he was being released from Broward County jail on $2,500 bond Sunday. He had been on a short leash since signing with the Dolphins in June, after washing out with the New England Patriots. and quickly got on Philbin’s bad side with his penchant for profanity as he talked to reporters. Perhaps if he’d contributed more on the field...but Johnson caught only 15 passes last season in New England and dropped the only pass that came his way in the Dolphins’ preseason opener.
“We’re going to deal with this,” Philbin told reporters shortly before he did just that. “We’re not going to waste time. ... We’re all in this thing together. Everybody that sets foot in this building, we’re all held to a high standard.”
Johnson, though, is more than a football player and this arrest will resonate in the reality-TV world as well as perhaps ending the era of the diva wide receiver in the NFL. “Ev & Ocho,” the couple’s reality show, already is a casualty with VH1 pulling the plug today because of “the unfortunate events over the weekend and the seriousness of the allegations,” the network said in a statement. It has “no current plans” to air it.
HBO’s “Hard Knocks,” embedded with the Dolphins, will go on and stands to get a fresh injection of drama after Johnson lived up to his promise last week to get arrested “while we’re off.” As for this week’s episode, an HBO spokesman said, “There will be Chad Johnson coverage in the next episode.”
One of Johnson’s teammates, linebacker Karlos Dansby , defended him today, calling Johnson a “perfect” teammate and predicting that cutting Johnson will be “an even bigger distraction.” And you thought the Dolphins were a boring choice for “Hard Knocks.”
“I hate that we didn't stand behind him,” Dansby said on “The Sid Rosenberg Show” today in Miami (via NFL.com). “I know the guys in the locker room would. But the organization felt a totally different way about the situation, and they probably had more information than we know. And they had to do what they had to do.
“It's going to be an even bigger distraction right now, I think, because of the simple fact we let him go. I think if we were going to be with the guy, if he was going to be our guy, we have to stand behind him — even though the situation came about. He didn't get that third strike.”
What exactly happened with Ev and Ocho is open to interpretation. From the Sun-Sentinel:
According to the police report, Johnson and his wife argued Saturday night in their driveway sitting in a Smart Car after she found a receipt for a box of condoms in the trunk.
“It gets pretty heated,” Capt. Dale Engle said Saturday night. “By the time they get home here in Davie it's pretty heated. She alleges he leaned over and head-butted her. He says she leaned towards him and that they butted heads. Needless to say she has a good laceration on her forehead.”
Lozada, who told police she intends to file charges, was treated at the scene and at a hospital. She was discharged the emergency room late Saturday night. The 911 tape will not be available until possibly Monday, according to a police spokesman. Adam Swickle, Johnson’s attorney, declined to comment on the misdemeanor other than to say that an order has been issued to prevent Johnson from contacting Lozada.
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