Johnson's Drama Not Over

The NFL has spoken. After a second off-the-field altercation in the last six months, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell handed down a one-game suspension to Chiefs running back Larry Johnson.

"Johnson has previously violated the NFL Personal Conduct Policy and has since been involved in multiple incidents in which law enforcement was required to intervene," the NFL announced. "Johnson also was informed that upon the disposition of two pending law enforcement matters he faces the possibility of additional disciplinary action."

That means the off-the-field drama is anything but over for Johnson. With both cases set for trial in December, the NFL will keep a close eye on the matter. It's likely that the NFL will further suspend Johnson, and that could keep him off the playing field either at the end of the 2008 season or the beginning of 2009.

The Chiefs have put Johnson on a sabbatical for three games now by placing him on the inactive list. He will serve his league-mandated suspension next weekend when Kansas City visits San Diego on November 9th.

After that, it's anyone's guess if Johnson will suit up again. However, according to a source inside the Chiefs' organization who spoke with Warpaint Illustrated.com, it's believed that Johnson may not be activated for any of Kansas City's remaining games following his one-game suspension.

It's clear that Johnson is still dealing with issues that have plagued him since his days at Penn State. What the NFL and the Chiefs are concerned with is that he's not learning from his previous mistakes.

Because of that, besides the $147,000 game check that Johnson is set to lose, the Chiefs, according to a report from myfoxcolorado.com, may be looking to void the remainder of his NFL contract. According to reporter Josina Anderson, the team could recoup nearly $5.5 million of Johnson's $19 million signing bonus. However, in that event the NFLPA will fight the Chiefs and the league over the issue, and that could linger well into the offseason.

A source with close ties to Johnson informed Warpaint Illustrated.com that he's quite worried about the pending cases and the impact it might have on his signing bonus should he be found guilty.

The Chiefs and Johnson are clearly at an impasse, but ultimately if he is going to return to the team, it'll be up to him to get the help he needs off the field.

The fact that President Carl Peterson and Head Coach Herm Edwards have turned this over to the NFL indicates that both have run out of patience with their All-Pro running back.

"We respect the decision of Commissioner Goodell," said Peterson. "The NFL Player Conduct Policy sets forth a set of standards that all NFL players, coaches and staff members must abide by. Upon the completion of his suspension we sincerely hope that Larry will be ready to return to the field for the Chiefs determined to make a positive contribution to our team and, with the assistance of the people around him, turn his life around."

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