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NFL Serious About Tossing Bad Apples .. Maybe

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NFL Is Cleaning Up
Bears Release of 'Tank' Is Good News

The NFL is cleaning up, and I'm not talking about marketing strategies. No, the league found itself a commissioner with those things Alec Baldwin had in his briefcase in "Glengarry Glenn Ross" and team front offices appear ready to follow his lead.

Commissioner Roger Goodell has taken positive steps to eliminated negative images, suspending several players for off-field trouble. Terry "Tank" Johnson was one of those. Goodell suspended him for half the season with a promise to lighten the penalty if Johnson learned to straighten up and fly right.

But in true "Glengarry Glen Ross" style, Johnson couldn't help himself, acting in a manner that would cause Baldwin's Blake to scornfully sneer, "Follow my advice and fire your ass, because a loser is a loser."

So the Chicago Bears, Johnson's now former employer, did take that advice, and they scrapped the tank, whose nickname is far more descriptive of his intelligence than his resilience.

Goodell is between a rock and a hard place in Cincinnati. There's a good chance they won't be able to field a team if they all earn suspensions for their off-field infractions -- despite head coach Marvin Lewis's claim that the cops have it in for them.

But the question is whether a team, the Bears included, will follow suit if the player getting into repeated trouble is far more talented and valuable than Johnson. Will Tennessee dump Adam "Pacman" Jones if he gets arrested again (assuming he doesn't go to prison for outstanding issues)? Would the Patriots dump Randy Moss (yes) if he resorts to his former treacherous ways?

Hopefully, none of us have to find out. Hopefully, NFL players wise up and act like decent people. (Hopefully, no one takes a chance on Johnson again.)

But if not, I hope Goodell maintains his hard line, and I hope the 32 teams do likewise.

By the way, check out WCG's brief statement at Windy City Gridiron, SB Nation's Chicago Bears blog. WCG says the Bears were able to do what Tennessee has not: Cut loose a bad headache.

One more unrelated note: I'm postponing my Brady vs. Manning post a tad. It will appear early next week.

Poll

Did the Bears make the right decision releasing 'Tank' Johnson?

This poll is closed

  • 45%
    Yes, he had to go, no matter what.
    (11 votes)
  • 41%
    Yes, but he would stay if he was Pro Bowl quality.
    (10 votes)
  • 4%
    No, he was too good to let go for nothing.
    (1 vote)
  • 8%
    No, off-field behavior is not a good enough reason.
    (2 votes)
24 votes total Vote Now