Johnson left Kentucky a year early and was picked in the third round by the Arizona Cardinals in 2002. He played in 13 games his rookie year as he adjusted to life in the National Football League. The next season, he played 15 games and had 42 tackles and five pass deflections.
He seemed on his way to a long NFL career. When he hurt his hand before the 2004 season, Arizona officials told him not to worry. Then he was cut just before the season started. As bad as that was, it didn't seem to be a huge setback when the San Francisco 49ers signed him. However, he played just one game before the 49ers released him to activate an offensive lineman.
Now he's waiting and hoping a team will call and invited him to training camp. That way he would have a chance to win a roster spot for the upcoming season.
"My agent has talked to Chicago and San Francisco recently," Johnson said. "If it happens, it happens. If not, football has been good to me my whole life. I've been blessed. If I don't get a chance to keep playing, I just have to move on and take care of my family.
"At first, it did bother me that I didn't get another chance. Now I am at peace with it. I got to have an experience a lot of guys worked hard for and never got. I got to go a lot of places and do a lot of things most people never get to do. It was just a blessing.
"I am content with where my life is now. I used to worry, but I am peace now. I know I can still play, but if I don't get that chance, then I'll be fine."
Johnson has taken a part-time job and also is an active member of a lifestyle Bible study group. He knows if he's not in training camp in mid-July, he likely will never play football again.
"It just takes one team to like you. Thirty teams might not like you, but if one does, then there's the chance you want," Johnson said. "Right now, I just hope there is that one team out there that likes me."