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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Patriots Should Consider Larry Johnson

Larry Johnson has mustered up a total of 2 yards on 5 carries this season with the Washington Redskins.  To date, the signing has looked like an experiment gone bad.  That’s why no one here was surprised when larrybrownsports.com learned that Redskins released Johnson on Tuesday evening.

Washington GM Bruce Allen is indicating that the move had only to do with roster complications in saying that the team, “needed to make a roster move in preparation for this week’s game against the Rams.”  Sources tell the Washington Post that LJ — who has had his commitment questioned in the past — had been playing nice and doing what the coaches asked of him.  With that in mind, it isn’t out of the question that the Redskins will resign him after they make the necessary roster adjustments.

With an erratic personality like Johnson’s, it also wouldn’t be a shocker if he felt offended and decided to seek employment elsewhere.  Having dealt Laurence Maroney and just received news that Kevin Faulk has a torn ACL, the Patriots might do well to take a chance on the 30-year-old back.  If New England sticks with what they’ve got, they’re going to have to rely on 34-year old Fred Taylor and 33-year-old Sammy Morris to remain healthy.  BenJarvus Green-Ellis has shown some signs of life for the Patriots at times, but he’s certainly not an every down back.

One of the major contributing factors to New England coming up short against the Jets on Sunday was their lack of an established run game.  The Jets have one of the best defenses in the NFL, but 52 total rushing yards won’t win a lot of games even in a pass-happy league.  Taylor, Morris, or both are going to get injured at some point over the course of the season and the Patriots are going to need more depth if they want to sustain it.  Why not take a shot on Johnson?

Johnson’s best years are obviously behind him, but that’s how the Patriots seem to like their backs.  He’s been around for a while and was once an elite NFL running back.  He must have something left in the tank, and New England was once a team that specialized in using up every last ounce of fuel a veteran had remaining.  Can they still be that team?  Taking a chance on LJ would be a good way to find out.

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