Why Did The Colts Cut Ed Johnson?
How quickly the axe can fall when you break the Indianapolis Colts' rules. In less than 48 hours starting defensive tackle Ed Johnson went from being cuffed to being cut. Not even the Brickyard has such swift justice.
According to a team spokesman, police pulled Johnson over early Wednesday morning for speeding. They allegedly found drugs in his car. Johnson, who went undrafted in 2007 after disciplinary issues during his time at Penn State, was charged with marijuana possession. At around 4:30pm Thursday he was officially cut from the team.
Colts President Bill Polian issued a statement which read in part: "Given the circumstances surrounding Ed's original employment with the Colts, we feel in this case that we have no choice but to take this action."
And there you have it. A player gets charged for marijuana, has a past history and gets cut. Strict, but fair.
But wait a minute, wasn't pro bowl wide receiver Marvin Harrison investigated in a shooting last summer in Philadelphia? Didn't he admit to being involved in a bar fight last spring? Why is he still catching passes for the team?
Well, first off Marvin Harrison was never charged with a crime. True, reports indicated that a victim was shot near his car wash with a custom-made Belgian handgun similar to one owned by Harrison. And investigators working the case confirmed for me that, "six bullet casings found on the scene did match his gun."
But when it comes to waiving a player, the Colts look at the whole picture. According to Polian "we consider every violation of a team rule or NFL policy on an individual case-by-case basis."
Harrison was never charged with a crime, Johnson was. And while The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office confirmed that the Harrison case is still under investigation, Lt. Richard Brown, who is heading up that investigation, explained to me that "Harrison, his lawyers and the Indianapolis Colts have fully cooperated." Johnson has a history of legal troubles. Harrison, along with Peyton Manning, holds the record for most receptions between a quarterback and a wide receiver.
A spokesman for the Colts refused to elaborate on what standards are necessary to justify waiving a player. He went on to say there were no inconsistencies between the two cases. Moreover, Marvin Harrison plays wide receiver -- a position of which the Colts have plenty. Johnson is a defensive tackle, a position Indy is lacking. Certainly this couldn't have been a pragmatic decision, at least not from a player personnel perspective.
If anything it was a decision based on the team-family dynamic, espoused by Head Coach Tony Dungy. As he said yesterday, "you're dealing with young guys and you're dealing with lifestyles that aren't mine. I have no false reality to think that everybody's going to be like I am, but we do have certain responsibilities. We have responsibilities to our teammates during the season and we have responsibilities to the people that watch us. I personally think we have young kids that watch our players and I think we need to send the right type of message and be the right type of role models... this wasn't done with the idea of sending a message, but if there was a message sent I think it was a good one."
Do you agree?
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: C-Adams "MADISONVILLE" | September 12, 2008 10:11 AM
Posted by: Pv | September 12, 2008 10:16 AM
Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2008 1:58 PM
Posted by: Ex-Hoosier | September 12, 2008 5:32 PM
Posted by: Frank | September 12, 2008 5:44 PM
Posted by: duo11 | September 13, 2008 2:43 PM
Posted by: Joe | September 13, 2008 4:52 PM
Posted by: Big Mac | September 13, 2008 5:25 PM
Posted by: Ace | September 13, 2008 8:17 PM
Posted by: WilliamBentley2 | September 13, 2008 11:46 PM
Posted by: ACE | September 13, 2008 11:55 PM
Posted by: Matt S | September 14, 2008 8:56 AM
Posted by: riverside | September 14, 2008 10:13 AM
Posted by: anon in Indy | September 14, 2008 10:27 AM
Posted by: Truth Hunter | September 14, 2008 10:30 AM
Posted by: J.B. | September 15, 2008 9:09 AM
Posted by: Derek | September 15, 2008 10:04 AM
Posted by: Steve | September 15, 2008 7:44 PM
The comments to this entry are closed.