Larry Johnson Officially Finds New Home, Signs With Cincy

After his unceremonious dismissal from the Chiefs, the Bengals are the winners of the Larry Johnson Free Agent Sweepstakes.

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Johnson Signs For League Minimum, Will Be Fourth-String Back

The team still has not put out an official announcement (they will have to cut someone from the 53-man roster), but we know that Larry Johnson is indeed a Bengal, signing a one-year deal for the league minimum ($306,764.43). As Adam Schefter points out, things really worked out quite nicely for LJ:

So Larry Johnson gets $4 million Chiefs owed him AND veteran minimum Bengals will pay him AND chance to play for contender. He did all right

Johnson is already in Cincinnati, arriving and meeting with the coaching staff Monday night. Head coach Marvin Lewis is saying that the addition of LJ will not affect the roles of the team's other running backs.

“It would have zero affect on Cedric Benson, Bernard Scott or Brian Leonard,” Lewis said. “I’m very happy right now with what they’re doing and their roles and I want to see Bernard’s role continue to expand as it did yesterday.”

Benson, who suffered an abductor strain in Sunday's win over Pittsburgh, will be limited in practice and is expected to be a game-time decision this week. And for now, everyone's saying the right things about Johnson's signing.

“I had an opportunity to visit with Cedric, and it (Johnson’s signing) doesn’t affect him zero,” Lewis said. “Obviously this was already underway last week, so Ced in the game had no affect on this thing.”

Benson said this morning on Sirius XM’s Mad Dog Radio morning show that he is feeling pretty good, calling it “just a minor speed bump in the road” and also supported the signing.

“It’s good for him. I was once in that position and he’s getting his opportunity again,” Benson said. “In all aspects we definitely plan on it to be a contribution to the team. If he can help the team in a positive way then I’m all for that.”

Lewis added, “[Johnson] would be an insurance policy if something would happen to our guys where he would have a chance to be active. I can’t foresee him being active when he was initially there if this happens. That’s what I told him.”


It's Official: Larry Johnson Is A Bengal

Per this tweet from Cincinnati Enquirer Bengals writer Joe Reedy:

Larry Johnson has signed his contract. And now we wait for the team to make the announcement.

Also check out Reedy’s thoughts on the signing as he analyzes the potential good and bad that could come from it.


A Pragmatic Bengals Fan Weighs In

Larry Johnson has had his fair share of off-the-field troubles. But, when healthy, he was a pretty amazing running back just a couple years ago. So what's the reaction? Allow a "Pragmatic Bengals Fan" from Cincy Jungle to offer his opinions.

... I'm torn.

I think for me personally, I'm not entirely opposed to this move for a couple of reasons.  Larry Johnson is a very similar runner to the Cincinnati version of Cedric Benson, the Cedric Benson who was a world-beater at Texas.  Bernard Scott and Brian Leonard are not that guy.  Perhaps in the spirit of "If it ain't broke don't fix it" mentality, LJ would be a good addition until Cedric Benson is right and ready for a playoff run.  That said, I liked what I saw out of Bernard Scott yesterday and I was hoping he would have a good chance to keep developing and growing over the next two or three weeks before hopefully getting Benson back for the last four weeks of the season and a playoff push. 

If I had anything to say about it, I would absolutely make sure that Marvin Lewis got to Larry Johnson in the negotiating room and let him know exactly why he was here.  Let him know exactly what they want from him, and let him know his place with this team.  Marvin has been exceptional at getting the guys to realize that many of them weren't wanted elsewhere and that this was a home for them if they played to their ability, and I would give him that shot before any documents are signed today. 

This could actually work out well, in my opinion.  Johnson could be a great addition and have the kind of impact that Benson, Dhani Jones, Tank Johnson and Roy Williams have had here. 

Just please heed these words, Bengals.  Talk to Larry Johnson long and hard before anything is signed. 

Also, talk to Cedric Benson and let him know why Larry Johnson is here.


Report: Larry Johnson Headed To Cincinnati, The NFL's Island Of Misfit Toys

After nearly a week on the free agency market, Larry Johnson is set to sign with the Bengals, according to Adam Schefter.

This is perhaps a sign that Cedric Benson's injured hip will keep him out of the line-up for an extended amount of time. The current Bengals back-up RB is rookie Bernard Scott. If Benson is going to miss time, it would make sense for the team to want a veteran back in place as a safety net for the rookie.

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