Chad Johnsons Sunday began in county lockup. It ended with him out of a job.
The Dolphins wasted little time in cutting ties with their embattled receiver, releasing him just hours after he walked out of the Broward County jail.
Johnson faces misdemeanor domestic abuse charges after allegedly head-butting his wife, reality TV star Evelyn Lozada, in front of their Davie home Saturday night. Cops were called, and Lozada, who suffered a three-inch cut on her forehead, plans to press charges, police say.
Johnson made bond about the same time the Dolphins were starting practice Sunday, and was obviously absent. Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said later in the afternoon he had not yet spoken to Johnson, but planned to do so immediately.
The conversation did not go well for the receiver formerly known as Ochocinco. Johnson was already on thin ice with the organization after a crude, profanity sprinkled news conference two weeks ago, which earned a stern dressing down by his coach. The lecture was caught by NFL Films cameras and aired on the season premiere of HBOs Hard Knocks last Tuesday.
Johnson, 34, was supposed to be the go-to receiver in Miami, his hometown and place where he had hoped to resurrect his career.
After 10 sterling seasons in Cincinnati, the Bengals grew tired of his colorful antics, and traded him to New England. Johnson struggled with the Patriots last year, catching just 15 passes.
The Patriots cut him over the summer, and Miami took a chance on him with a no-risk, incentive-laden contract. By cutting him before the season, the Dolphins dont owe him a dime.
With Johnson gone, heres who the Dolphins plan to go with at wide receiver, at least in the short term:
Two guys who went undrafted, and a journeyman veteran coming off a second foot surgery in three years.
Davone Bess, Roberto Wallace and Legedu Naanee worked with the first team during Sundays training camp practice, the Dolphins first since their 20-7 preseason loss to Tampa Bay on Friday.
Combined, those three players caught 95 passes for 1,004 yards and four touchdowns last year. (By contrast, Johnson had 97 for 1,432 and nine scores all by himself in 2005).
Were waiting for some guys to maybe take a hold of that position and really solidify their spot on the ballclub, Philbin said Sunday.
Those guys were supposed to be Johnson and Brian Hartline, but for starkly different reasons, neither participated in Sundays semi-padded session.
Johnson didnt even get out of jail Sunday until after practice began, while Hartline has missed all of camp with a lingering calf injury.
That left a huge hole in the Dolphins receiving rotation, one that must be addressed before the season opens Sept. 9.
Bess, the fifth-year veteran out of Hawaii, was expected to start this year. But Naanee whose recurring foot injuries scared off both the Chargers and the Panthers has been a pleasant surprise.
Wallace, on the other hand, has emerged from near-oblivion. He was buried on the fourth line of the depth chart before playing well in Miamis preseason opener. Wallace, a third-year veteran who didnt catch a pass in 2011, pulled in four balls for a team-leading 71 yards against Tampa Bay.
Honestly, I have no idea whats going on [in terms of the depth chart], said Wallace, a 6-foot-4 receiver who went undrafted out of San Diego State. I just do what they tell me.