SB Nation’s Arrowhead Pride is all over the release of Larry Johnson, which includes a look at what the legacy of L.J. in K.C. will be. In part:
Nearly 6,000 yards later, Johnson’s legacy is over. And it’s a tarnished one, for sure. The issues were many in the LJ years and made many within the fan base cringe with each statement to the press, each interview, each Tweet. From Dick Vermeil to Herm Edwards to Todd Haley, each coach had to deal with the baggage that came with one of the franchise’s greatest running back ever. And up until now, it’s always been worth it. It’s a shame it had to go down this way. […]
How LJ will be remembered is a perplexing situation. With final memories like the ones he most recently made, with Twitter references making stabs at gays and the working-class fan, it likely won’t be sunny anytime soon. It’s not like a Brett Favre situation where he was heavily booed earlier this year, yet we all know the cheers and heartwarming greetings will await him in Green Bay when he’s finally done in the NFL. For LJ, some are even already protesting his place in the Ring of Honor, even though those same fans enjoyed the success he brought on-field for the last several years.
Perhaps time will heal these wounds. And perhaps LJ will gain some perspective (or at least some PR advice) and say the right things once the tensions have settled.
Regardless of his legacy, Johnson was certainly another example of the incredibly small window of greatness that NFL running backs have available to them. Although LJ experienced his decline a bit earlier than most (age 28 instead of 30-ish), it came after carrying the ball 752 times in 2005-06. In the three seasons since then, he attempted a combined total of just 483 carries.