LJ makes #3 pick toughest in 2007

There’s a reason I’ve been talking about the #3 pick being the toughest one of all in 2007: Larry Johnson. By now you’ve probably heard about or read the interview Jason Whitlock (who has been hard on Johnson in the past) did with the mercurial runner.

This is a very complicated situation, but the bottom line is a holdout is definitely possible, if not likely at least in terms of the early stages of training camp. Johnson and his agent have said that their interests in getting a new deal is simply “good business” and they are actually correct when they say that; Johnson is grossly underpaid. But there’s just something about this guy that rubs you the wrong way. He rubbed Dick Vermeil the wrong way, that’s for sure, and Vermeil is a guy who cried about Laurence Phillips, of all people. Vermeil is a guy I once approached in a men’s room of all places about coming on a local sports TV show I was on. I was a kid at the time, in my mid-20s, yet he returned all my calls and came on the show.

Despite the fact that he deserves the money, there’s just something about LJ that would make me very hesitant to give him “LT Money.” I’m not sure I want to pay him a salary comparable to what Peyton Manning gets. That’s the big problem for the Chiefs. Complicating matters even more, we should all know by now after the Trent Green fiasco that GM Carl Peterson is a stubborn man.

This really could be the biggest holdout since Emmitt Smith’s in the 90s, when he sat out the first two games of the season. I’ve already moved Johnson down to #3 at RB behind Steven Jackson, but I think at this point I would take Frank Gore over LJ. The deeper we get into the summer, the larger my list of RBs I’d take over LJ will get. Let’s not forget that even if he’s a happy training camper, this is a still a weak team. We could easily get the point at which I don’t want anything to do with Larry Johnson.

I’m off now for a weekend trip to the mountains of Virginia with my two sons to do some hiking, canoeing, etc. Hopefully, we’ll all be back Sunday night in one piece.  

Category: Fantasy Football


5 Responses

  1. NYBrewCrew says:

    The hold out is not what bothers me, it’s the loss of players on the O-Line, The weak QB situation and lack of depth at the WR position. Not to mention they have the 24th hardest schedule agenst the Run. 4 of the first 5 games of the season are against good defenses and Houston is an up and comming defense.

    1st 5 games:
    at Houston Texans
    at Chicago Bears
    Minnesota Vikings
    at San Diego Chargers
    Jacksonville Jaguars

  2. FanProphet says:

    Great topic, great analysis, great thought!

    I just did my AFC West ratings and yes, Johnson has slipped. I didn’t like the situation prior to his threat of holding out and now with this in the works, my decision has become a lot easier.

    BTW, playing those defenses in the first 5 games maybe gave L.J. the idea of holding out. :)


  3. skivvy9r says:

    Hey John…great analysis on the LJ situation. This may devalue him enough that he will become a steal. I participated in my first “live” draft on CBSSportsline yesterday (14 rounds) and I had the 6th pick and unbelievable as it seems, LJ fell to me. I didn’t know about the potential hold out, but I couldn’t pass him up. The first round of the draft went this way:

    Hines Ward (!?)
    LJ (me)
    Carson Palmer
    Tom Brady
    Marvin Harrison
    Reggie Bush

    It was a bizarre draft because 5 managers didn’t show and the computer made their picks. The rest of my draft went pretty well I believe.

    1 (6) LJ
    2 (19)T. Henry
    3 (30)Roy Williams-Det
    4 (43)E. James
    5 (54)D. Branch
    6 (67)J. Galloway
    7 (78)J. Kitna
    8 (91)C. Chambers
    9 (102)DeAngelo Williams
    10 (115)LJ Smith
    11 (126)J. Delhomme
    12 (139)J. Kasay
    13 (150)David Martin
    14 (163)Green Bay

    Now that I know about LJ’s potential hold out, I’m glad I was able to get enough depth at the RB position offset it a little bit (hopefully, I won’t need it).


    P.S. Congrats on the weight loss! The Doc gave me the long face and told me I had to lose about 40 lbs myself. Lost 10, 30 more to go! Looking forward to the ladies flirting with me again!

  4. Vice says:

    Hmmmm, guess that makes my #2 pick in August a bit easier … Steven Jackson, come on down!

  5. PackFan says:

    Hmmm … let’s see,

    In your division you play San Diego twice, Denver twice, your defense is a bit old and not too deep, you’ve got an inexperienced quarterback … questions along the offensive line … a tight end that’s starting to get a little long in the tooth, no real wide receiver since you let Joe Horn go years back … traded away your return man, drafted a new, left-footed rookie place kicker in the 5th round … a year ago you traded for the Jet’s coach and let your innovative offensive coordinator go to the Redskins … and – now you want your stud back to touch the ball over 450 times this season while playing for a bucket of peanuts that gets even smaller after taxes?

    Carl Peterson – pay the man and move on, you might have some concerns here, but Larry Johnson should not be one of them.

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