My initial reaction upon reading that Miami police wanted to talk to Chad Johnson about a murder was, perhaps like yours, shock. Johnson has become the league's most affable character, a guy who has managed to be both the braggard and everybody's best friend, almost unanimously loved by his teammates, his opponents, the media, and fans.
Then shock turns into disbelief. Not another Bengal!. Then logic sets in and you actually read the article instead of reacting off a headline.
An entourage hustled him away from fans wanting autographs. He would not speak to a reporter who asked him about (Curtis) Dopson. One entourage member wagged his finger: "Don't do that."
Johnson spoke with detectives Monday night at Miami police headquarters, without an attorney.
"In any investigation of this magnitude, you have to talk to everybody no matter how seemingly insignificant they may or may not be," said Miami Detective Delrish Moss, a spokesman.
The two were apparently acquaintances. Dopson was shot outside of his duplex, had faced convictions in 2005 for selling coke and marijuana.
I won't speculate as to what Johnson's role in the murder was (although if he was suspected to have a significant role he would have been detained). Still, this is terrible timing for everyone involved. The fact that Johnson, perhaps the league's friendliest face, has been mentioned in the murder in the biggest week of the season, in the midst of a media circus, and that he's taking headlines away from the usual puff pieces the media dishes out during Super Bowl week is bad for the NFL and particularly the Bengals. Just when you thought their season couldn't get any worse, not only does it get worse, but even more bizarre as well.