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What's next for Tank Johnson?

Kentucky Jet

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With Tank Johnson dumped by the team that acquired him via a second-round pick in the 2004 draft, the next question is whether he'll find another NFL home.

The biggest problem is that he has an eight-game suspension to serve, and he can't serve it until he has signed a contract. That dynamic contributed in the past to the premature exile of players like receiver Andre Rison, who couldn't find a home with a four-game suspension hanging around his neck, and safety Mark Carrier, who had no takers with a two-game suspension for his umpteenth illegal hit.

Still, Johnson has only three years in the league, and a guy who can play defensive tackle effectively is likely to find work. Several readers have predicted that the Broncos will take a chance on Tank, primarily since the Broncos employ a Statue of Liberty approach when it comes to rounding up defensive linemen whom other teams have abandoned.

But we're not so sure that even Coach Kevlar will mess with a guy who has a history of weapons charges, especially in light of the shooting death of cornerback Darrent Williams on New Year's Day.

If not the Broncos, then who? Bucs coach Jon Gruden is in full-blown desperation mode this year, as evidenced by the addition of tight end Jerramy Stevens. Or maybe the Raiders, who seem to be trying to get their swagger back -- and who need someone who can eventually replace Warren Sapp, will give Tank a chance.

We still think it's a longshot for Johnson to find a new home this year, and it could be that he negotiates a deal with the league office under which he sits out all of the 2007 season, stays clean through February, and then becomes available to be signed as a free agent in March 2008, with his suspension deemed served.

With all that said, it's been a very bad ride for Johnson, the first of the repeat offenders to get dumped from his team. Here's how one reader summed it all up for us:

"He was arrested for owning enough guns and ammo to equip a Tank. The Bears Tanked in the Super Bowl. He served 60 days in the Tank and ate enough junk food to fill a Tanker. He was Tanked for eight games by new Commish, and then got pulled over for being slightly Tanked. Now he's been cut, and he's left holding his Johnson. I'd say they gave this guy the perfect name."


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He will get work and he will probably go cheap knowing that any team that picks him up would not heistate to cut him should he not get his stuff straight. He should also realize that any team that gives him a chance is probably giving him his last chance.

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Anyone whose looking for a big, strong and just flat out good DT that runs a 43 system will be taking a look at him. I'm thinking Buffalo, especially if they don't reach an agreement with Darwin Walker by August, would be a great landing spot for him, if they want him. How could he possibly get into trouble up there? Cow tipping? Drunk zamboni riding? Mystery Alaska, woohoo!

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