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Dolphins announce signing of RB Larry Johnson

The Dolphins have announced on their twitter feed they have signed running back Larry Johnson. So much for those tentative first-and-goal runs.

Johnson, 31 years old, hasn't had a productive season since 2008 when he gained 874 yards. That was also the same year the stuff hit the fan for him. He was suspended by the Chiefs for violating unspecified team rules. He was also suspended by commissioner Roger Goodell for one game that season. Hmmm.

The next year Johnson was critical of Chiefs coach Todd Haley, which as you might guess, led to his suspension for conduct detrimental to the club. The Chiefs cut Johnson when his suspension ended.

Johnson bounced to the Bengals in 2009 in late November and then went to the Redskins in March of 2010 as a free agent. That didn't last. He was cut in September and was out of work the rest of the season.

Johnson has been arrested four times since 2003 on various assault charges against women. In 2003, he was arrested for assault and domestic battery for brandishin a gun at his then-girlfriend, during an argument at his home. The charges were dropped when Johnson agreed to participate in a domestic violence diversion program. In 2005, he was again arrested for assault when a woman accused Johnson of pushing her to the ground, but the case was dropped after the alleged victim failed to appear in court for three different hearing.

His third arrest for assault came on February 24, 2008, after allegedly pushing a woman's head at a nightclub that night. On October 10, 2008, Johnson was arrested for the fourth time and charged with one count of non-aggravated assault for allegedly spitting a drink in a woman's face at a Kansas City nightclub on October 11. Johnson tried to flee the scene but police officers tackled him.

The Dolphins have been in the market for a running back for some time. Today they worked out Clinton Portis. They also worked out Tiki Barber three weeks ago, around the time they worked out Johnson.

They are obviously:

Not comfortable with their current RB situation, which has rookie Daniel Thomas behind Reggie Bush. A couple of weeks ago, coach Tony Sparano admitted in a column I wrote that he was "nervous" about the running back situation.

Miami's running back corps delivered an unspectacular performance around the goal line on four first-and-goal runs against the Panthers, probably pushed the team over the edge.

Is Johnson going to be the guy who gained over 1,700 yards in both 2005 and 2006? No.

But I guess checking him out for the next couple of weeks cannot hurt a team looking to upgrade in the backfield.


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He's not making this team

RW would have been better


Maybe we can dump Johnson off to the Cowboys before the night is over...

should have kept ricky or ronnie. mcgahee would have been good too. not larry johnson! another ireland goof!

Nice! And he's 31 and they didn't sign Ronnie Brown who's 29!! They always seem to be playing catch up with the rest of the league. Why couldn't they anticipate Thomas needing more time to develop and sign Ronnie Brown. He could have been trade bait at the very least.

sounds like he and marshall have a lot in common

Socal, merling can join that party too

That pisses me off. Should have resigned Ronnie.

the COPS tackled him?????????????

This absolutely blows my mind... We had Ricky Williams, who is not completely used up and is tremendously familiar with this team, sitting on his hands for months down here... We all knew it was a bad idea to unload both our veterans for a group of unproven youngsters and Reggie Bush. But no, Ireland f's up, lets both of the proven guys leave and now has to bring in a total schmuck who had his best years in Blue and White.

Crap, I would have preferred they signed Brian Westbrook than Johnson. At least he can still move and catch passes, and he just essentially had a year off in San Francisco.

Johnson probably came with a veterain minimum price tag and he most likely needs the cash. Making bond ain't cheap.

Whatever, he will not be on the team come September 12th. He is just a body and someone they are kicking the tires on.

Don't have a meltdown people.

Should have keep ricky williams for a year..

he is a body, but if there running game is not in shape by then... RW was a better option.


DUMBASSES, should have kept Ricky and drafted Ryan Mallet in the second round, instead of the running back, whom probably could have been had as a undrafted free agent. Ryan, Reggie & Ricky would have been outstanding.


luck in 2012.that's what this means.lol

I concur with D. He's a longshot to make the team. As far as keeping Ricky or Ronnie, that would've been prudent but there are so many decent street free agent running backs out there that it doesn't make a huge difference

@Mike Hoster - Ricky Williams not only trashed the entire team and coaching staff, he has had one good season in 6 years. he got way more than what anyone should of paid him. Ronnie Brown did not live up to his 2nd pick of the draft status and if you think he was such a stud, look no further than his signing with the Eagles for 1 year and for peanuts - they are both damaged goods. This team is moving on.

This is clearly not the signing of the century and the current RB corp can use some help, but Johnson is a warm body to throw into camp and see if he has anything left. Nothing more, nothing less.

This is a miniscule move and should be treated as such.

Wow, Ireland never ceases to amaze me with his stupidity.

I don't get this. They let Ronnie go the philly for 1 million/year and then they go out and sign LJ?
I'd rather keep hilliard than bring in a old washout wife beater like LJ

I agree that we should have kept Ricky, but not Ronnie. he became too tenative. Troy Stradford made a great observation. He said Ronnie running the wildcat changed the way he approched the line. he got tentative, a la Sammie Smith. But, let's give Larry a chance. maybe he's got something to prove and I give Ireland credit for bringing him in and giving him 1 chance. Remember, all teams are trimming rosters soon so it at least indicates they want to shore up the short yardage situations and give Thomas time to develop. Only question I had from last game on the 1st and goal was why didn't Lousaka Polite carry? he did that 2 years ago and was a beast. Overall, I like what the team has done and I like what Daboll is doing so far. Let's be cautiously optimistic Fin Fans and stop second guessing these guys. Hindsight is always 20/20. This is the first draft and FA period that I truly liked their moves. I think Henne will be much better. The weapons we have will make anyone better and more confident. GO PHINS!!

how many yards before the police tackled him?

good news is this was in 2008, looks like he's increased his burst since as he's not been collared for 3 years - must be outrunning them now

j.i. has obviously sussed this, clever boy!

They dont want Ronnie, Ricky, Marion Barber, McGahee, etc..... and then they get Larry Johnson????.. . i dont understand this people!

Guys, I won't repost, but if you want to know what happened in DC last year, go to the last blog about Reggie Bush, I lay it out there (basically, I doubt he'll make the team, he's done, plus not a good "locker room" player).

On another note, anyone catch the article on espn.com about Fasano. First off, they ranked him #4 in the NFL for TEs last year. Anyone else find that amazingly unbelievable? Did anyone think we had such a good (statistical) TE in Fasano (other than in '08)? I know I didn't.

Anyway, besides all that, the most interesting part of that article is when Fasano let this slip out:

One of the better-blocking tight ends in the NFL, Fasano said he's been comfortable lining up much of the time alongside right tackle Marc Colombo, another of his former Dallas teammates.

"Colombo is great," he said. "He's one of the toughest, if not the toughest guy I've played with. He doesn't know how to slow down, and he communicates well. (He's) a very smart player, so it's fun to get back to playing with him."

I guess I'm watching the wrong team or something, because I can't see what he's talking about there.

The cops tackled him ? If the cops caught him and tackled him you know his career is through.. and we sign him ? Like everyone else is saying, why didn't they keep Ricky or Ronnie ? This front office is unbelievable !

while i am seriously unimpressed with lj and agree with the less lighthearted comments above, can't help wondering if evrybody would be so critical of belichic if he tried out lj for a few weeks, or maybe lj and ts see him as their haynesworth

sadly they think its a team need at this late stage when the run game is suppoed to be thier favourite weapon, 4 months of lockout to plan their draft and fa moves, how come they haven't worked him out before now, desparado

Is there room on the Buccaneers bandwagon? How about the Jaguars?
Incompetence...thy name is Miami Dolphins.

OK so if Carolina has the first pick in next years draft do we trade away our first three picks for their first and get andrew luck........

Armando - i appreciate your detailing some of Johnson's abuse history. it's more than a little sickening and quite telling about this regime's attitude about violence against women to have these many players - with public records, no less - who are batterers on the team. ....and unfortunately telling that most of the fan base will not care enough to voice any objection. for all his "good guy" rep, tony sparano is disappointingly mute if not just inarticulate about this. once again, the bar for what it takes to be a good guy/good teammate digs deep into the putrid depths of disrespect for women.

The real question, Armando, you should ask is what the heck is wrong with Portis, if Larry F'ing Johnson gets signed before him...who's next Ron Davenport?

After all the criticism and tentative running last year, I don't understand how anyone would want Ricky or Ronnie back. Nostalgia doesn't win football games. Time to move on

So if outta shape cops can tackle this guy what are 250 pound LBs gonna do??

@D. You're right... I am widely approaching this signing illogically, with nothing but raw emotion. I know that Larry Johnson is nothing more than a placeholder.

I was just always such a huge Ricky Williams fan... It really frustrated me to see them refuse to resign him this year––much like Zach Thomas three years ago and JT last year.

Perhaps I am naive, but there is an unspoken premium on keeping fan favorites and locker room leaders on a team... Like when the Eagles refused to resign Brian Dawkins. The guy could still play and EVERYONE in Philadelphia loved him. Don't do a guy like that.

Anyway, working out Barber and Portis and then signing Johnson when we could have easily resigned either Ricky or Ronnie... It makes us look like desperate idiots.

Trade Chris Clemons and one of our DE's to the Jaguars for Garrard and RB Jennings...

LJ is going to have a rebirth in Miami and run for at least 3 total yards this season. Hey does anyone have Lawrence Phillips or Cecil Collins phone #?


i like it if it is possible. What about trading one of our cb to the Giants..they are depleatd since the injury last night

It would be nice to get our hands on Brandon Jacobs..........

Mike Hoster, the problem is Mike, keeping a fan favorite at times slows down a teams progress and hurts a teams future. Ricky and Ronnie are prime examples. Ronnie danced around all last year and was just not good. Ricky had negative things to say about the coach and wasn't a super runner. Sometimes teams AND players need a change of scenery. A team also needs to develop the future and can't with these guys taking spots. IMO, the best years are behind Ricky and Ronnie.

Ronnie Brown signed for $1MM!!!!!!!!
If we are not comfortable with thr RB situation can Ireland at least admit this one was a mistake?

..Perhaps the barhounds in Missoula were right earlier this preseason.(Huge Rumor that Lex Hilliard would be traded or released)...Unless Lex has a knick. Why was this move made? For Camp depth is the only answer I can thinb of. If The Phins want a guy to come in and spell Bush, and Thomas and give 2-3 yards per carry...Congrats. You found your guy.

WTF is going on here???? Larry Johnson is supposed to make this team better. Bobbyd12 you bring up a good point about not living in the past and moving on...Shouldn't that apply to LJ too? At least with Bong Pipe, or Ronnie. There could have been some foresight that maybe the running backs would not be up to the standard the coaches want. If anything they could have signed one just as an insurance policy if this scenario which is playing out now happened. Either one could have been released with little or no skin off the Phins backs if the backs had perfomed better..But Larry Johnson? I usually find a way to reasonably support the moves the team makes..But this one is a freekin doozie???????

Yea lets jettison one of our trade worthy corners - lets see there is only one and his name is ummmmm Vontae - yeah - thats it - that would be umm like really smart. Of course we could just trade our garbage players to other teams for their star players, because other teams like to do that and well ummm that would be cool and I am ... you know ... like a 10 yr old girl

Nice copy-paste from wikipedia, Armando.
However, I hope that this guy is smart enough to realize that it's his last chance. The main reason of this signing is probably the low cost:-). But I doubt if he has the qualities needed for the job. Let's just sit back and see.

MY guess is they didn't bring back Willams because of his comments about Sparano.

what's this about larry's johnson?

Darryl, like I said, sometimes a change of scenery is good for a team and player. I might be wrong Darryl, but I don't think Ricky or Ronnie would have signed for what Johnson signed for or could have accepted his role. Johnson is probably here to spell DT and make short yardage runs.

And they waived Kory sheets.

James, top 3 picks to Carolina for the 1st overall? In a millisecond. That's a no brainer.

Apparently Portis has lost 25 pounds and has stopped working out. He's lost his passion, its over for him.

DD, apparently Kory Sheets has not impressed and that's why they are kicking tires on rbs.

Relax everyone...this is a temporary look at an old pro-bowler. Unless he really impresses (highly unlikely) they will dump him.

I think they like Thomas and Bush as their primary combination. Bush brings obvious speed and Thomas is going to be fine, he looked good the other night. They like Clay because his raw skills make him more flexible than Polite. Polite is limited to FB only and while I like him, I doubt they keep the one trick pony. They like Hilliard for his special teams play.

So, they want a big veteran back who will be very happy being a back up to the back up. They want a banger who has proven ability. They will likely scoop up a player once the final cuts are made elsewhere.

Ronnie was going cost too much and Ricky pissed off Sparano (I don't blame him for letting Ricky go after what was said at the end of the season).

This team has 2-14 written all over it because our o-line and QB stink out loud. How in the world can we win more than 2 or 3 games when our o-line can't run block or pass block and our QB can't hit a WR in stride unless it's a 10-yard pattern??? Would somebody please explain that to me??? And now we're signing 50 year old RBs?

Remember guys: That 1-15 season came out of nowhere. We were 9-7 the previous year and then went 1-15. You hear that, LouD? Poizen? Finfan4life?

Been there, done that.

what do you mean i haven't had a productive season since 2008? i have a garage full of big screen tv's, laptops,i pads, and a bunch of other electronics i need to fence.

And why did it take them so long to figure out that Sheets wasn't good enough?

Slow brained FO.

Russ thanks for sharing your negativity.

Let's look at the morons bringining IN players like this....Ireland has to be one of the worst GM's around! Bringing in a 31 yr. old to be the front loader of the running game...I'm tired of being a Dolphins fan who is year in and year out disappointed by what this team is doing. By Nov. 1, if this team hasn't won most of it's games, they should fire Sparano, then Ireland. Make way for Bill Cower...we fans should demand this dumb arse owner to put a #1 coach on the field or the seats will be even sparser than they are.


Johnson is here because the front office failed. Bush gets hurt every year, Thomas is a bust, Hilliard is a special teamerand Sheets is a practice squad player on any other team.

Bush couldn't stay healthy as a situational player. How in the hell is he going tto stay healthy as the featured back?

Jakester, where has anyone said anything about Larry Johnson being the premeir running back??? Nowhere!!

Stupid, stupid, stupid....

Should have retained Ricky Williams...

This move is like putting your tail between your legs and admitting your plan ain't working out as you thought it would. Wonder what they're gonna' do when they realize Chad Henne is probably going to be inconsistent again.

sounds to me like the jakester soiled his depends when he heard about this one.

I'm definitely in the camp that believes we should have kept either Ronnie or Ricky. However I think L J isn't a bad pick up for a limited role on the team. At this point he's likely happy to have a job and perhaps will be more easy going now that he realizes he's expendable.

He definitely will fill a gap with our backs as Daniel Thomas can't run through tackles and Bush isn't a power back so Larry Johnson can fill that need in 3rd and short situations.

I just hope he can keep it together and isn't a detriment in the locker room.

Russ, we didn't pick up a 50 year old RB, he is 31! Second, we don't have a shitty OL, they are new together and the RB's had plenty of lanes the other night WITHOUT Jake Long! We have a weak link in Columbo but my guess is Murtha will slide over there soon and solidify that side of the OL. I'm sure from your reaction that you didn't see the game the other night. There is a lot of Football to play and your 2-14 prediction is ridiculous!

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