One of the things that can plague a franchise are problem children, thugs, hoodlums, and criminals. In this case with Chad Johnson, the Miami Dolphins as a franchise are prepared to release him and rid themselves of the “distraction” that the media paints as the true problem with having a player with this type of personality. However, Chad is not this type of distraction in the sense many fans are accustomed to seeing. He’s a first time offender in the NFL.
As a coach, Joe Philbin has some serious issues to sort out other than who the quarterback is of the team. Facing Philbin, is the real possibility that what he does going forward is setting a precendent for every player on this team. If Philbin decides to let the situation go with a non-threatening sit down, then Philbin risks loss of the locker room. However, if Philbin takes the approach of wait and see and then makes a decision after a week has passed, Philbin will be doing the critical and right thing by not treating this as a knee jerk reaction.
At this point, Chad Johnson probably has more to lose than Miami does. At stake is his contract for 925,000 if he makes the team, his name and reputation, and a chance to play NFL football.
The Miami Dolphins have to do what is right and just in this situation. They need to do their homework and they need to have a chat with Chad Johnson. Surely, the Dolphins as a business have every right to cut him in the next few days. Not to mention, the product that is being represented by Chad Johnson lacks productivity on the field. In addition, Chad Johnson as a marketing icon has passed it’s prime.
On the other hand, taking an opportunity to rehabilitate Chad in the sense that extending out a hand to a guy that is hurting emotionally, might be a very difficult thing to do, but perhaps being human is important.
In no way should Chad’s actions be a sign of being an isolated incident. Chad is a person and is fallible. He needs help. Likewise, he doesn’t come away from this positively one way or the other. If he’s cut then he has 29 teams to ask for a chance. If he stays, he has to live with the stigma that comes with allegedly physically bringing harm to a loved one and be magnified on every newspaper and tabloid.
One of the things that the Dolphins must do is first evaluate what is important: winning games or being a model franchise by taking a difficult stand.