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Friday, May 17, 2013

Trouble in Paradise for Ochocinco

Wild on Sports
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Trouble in Paradise for Ochocinco
By Wild on Sports Analyst Jason Gillson

Courtesy of CBS Sports...
The Broward County (Fla.) sheriff's office has confirmed to CBSSports.com that former NFL star receiver Chad Johnson has an open warrant out for his arrest. TMZ.com reported earlier Thursday that Johnson is wanted for allegedly violating his probation by not visiting his probation officer.

The probation stems from a domestic violence incident last August with then-wife Evelyn Lozada when he was accused of head-butting her during an altercation in a vehicle. Eventually, Johnson pleaded no contest to a domestic violence charge in a plea-bargain in which he was given probation and required to take a counseling course.

After the initial arrest, the first of Johnson's pro career, the Dolphins cut him, and Johnson hasn't played in the NFL since.

According to his Twitter account on Thursday, Johnson wrote, “Chilly in Pasadena.” That could mean he's not currently in Florida.

TMZ writes that the arrest warrant was issued May 7.
 What an incredible downfall that continues to spiral out of control for the former all-pro receiver. Lets just pause for a moment and look at his past three years....

2009-10 - Johnson or"Ochocinco" at the time cap off what was his seventh 1,000+ yard receiving season with Cincinnati, a year that would turn out to be his last a a Bengal and last a relevant football player.

2010-11 - Johnson is traded to the New England Patriots for a 5th and 6th round draft picks. Promptly signs 3 year extension. This is the end of anything resembling good news for Ochocinco the football player. He fails to make any sort of connection with Brady as the player, formerly regarded for his intelligence and "football IQ" fails to grasp the playbook and spends the majority of the season on the sidelines. He finishes the year with 15 catches for 276 yards and a touchdown -- all career lows.

2011-12 - Johnson is released by the Patriots. Signs a training camp deal with the Miami Dolphins. Shortly there after is arrested for domestic violence. Is then promptly released by the Dolphins ending his playing career. Avoids jail time but is put on probation.

May 7, 2013 - Violates probation. Tweets that he is Pasadena, confirming that he is outside of probation radius. A warrant is put out for his arrent.


WOW...

What a turn for the worst for a receiver who was one of, if not the most explosive and dangerous outside threats in the game for the majority of the 2000's. What happens to these athletes? Is it a bad upbringing? A need to unleash pent up testosterone that you no longer can on the field? A few too many hits to the head?

Domestic violence and other off the field issues see to be a recurring trend for ex-professional athletes and seems to be more prevalent in the NFL than any other sport. Yes, the NFL does have programs set up in an effort to help these individuals transition into the next phases of their lives. But it time for the league to make a stronger stance and help its players be healthy members of society for their lives following football. That could start with coming up with ways to help avoid head injuries. What those steps might be are far beyond my comprehension but I would have to think that brain safety should be a top priority. Beyond that, there ought to be better programs to help former players, particularly those who could be suspected of questionable off the field habits, in setting their lives straight and living life to the fullest within the confines of the law.

The ball is in your court NFL. It is sad to see a player like Ochocinco fall down this path. Players before him have had similar fates. If it is going to be prevented moving forward it is going to be up to the league to help out its players.

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