The Dolphins released WR Chad Johnson, the team announced Sunday evening, one day after Johnson was arrested for domestic violence.
At Sunday’s post-practice press conference, head coach Joe Philbin said he had not spoken to Johnson, yet. According to Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald, the decision to cut Johnson was made by Philbin, and ownership backed his decision.
Johnson, who was released from jail on Sunday morning, allegedly head-butted his wife, Evelyn Lozada, during an argument on Saturday.
According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Dolphins would have owed Johnson $925,000 if he made the 53-man roster. Johnson signed with Miami in the offseason after a disappointing campaign with New England in 2011, when he had only 15 catches. He changed his name back to Chad Johnson from Ochocinco after marrying Lozada on July 4.
In the team’s preseason opener, Johnson dropped the only pass targeted at him. He was expected to make the team and factor in the team’s rotation at wide receiver based on early performances at camp.
In the first episode of HBO’s “Hard Knocks,” Philbin spoke with Johnson regarding Johnson’s profanity-laced opening press conference.
The way we see it
Despite the Dolphins’ lack of experience and talent at wideout, Johnson clearly wasn’t good enough for Philbin and the organization to wait for the investigation to unfold. Johnson had already proven to be a distraction, as evidenced by Philbin’s discussion with him that aired on “Hard Knocks,” and with his first training camp as a head coach being televised for audiences everywhere to see, Philbin has enough distractions as he tries to get the 'Fins back to being competitive in the AFC East.
On the field, this opens up a spot on the roster at receiver for players like Marlon Moore, Clyde Gates and Julius Pruitt. Roberto Wallace and Legedu Naanee have played well, which is a good sign, but the team could still use more depth at the position, especially with expected starter Brian Hartline still sidelined with an injury.