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Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Keyshawn Cut a Shocker

Keyshawn Johnson was released yesterday afternoon, and I'm still shocked.

I take the team at its word - this wasn't a personality issue, this wasn't something Keyshawn had done or "earned". I believe that there wasn't really that much of an issue with interaction between he and Smith, or with Delhomme, or with Fox. But if it isn't, why take the steps toward improving the team with a player like Dwayne Jarrett only to hurt the team's talent by cutting Johnson?

Jarrett, Carter, and Robinson aren't where Keyshawn is right now. They shouldn't need to be, and if the team had wanted Carter to start they could've foregone the Johnson signing and simply found a solid backup in the Ricky Proehl mold. If the team is expecting Jarrett to be Johnson from opening day, they're taking a big risk in doing so. They're probably not doing themselves any favors by giving another egotistical receiver exactly what he wants, either.

One rumor suggests that Keyshawn wouldn't own his part of problems, including some late-game interceptions that some blamed on Delhomme, some blamed on Johnson. These situations I put squarely in between the two; I don't know that Keyshawn not taking blame for this would cause a cut. In the rumor, it says that "a prominent official" in the organization suggested that Keyshawn "take the blame" and he wouldn't. I don't know how credible the rumor is.

I was shocked that we went after a posession receiver when we signed Johnson. We hadn't run the routes that Keyshawn would need, and hadn't used Muhsin Muhammad that way. I was glad, once he got in, expecting that third down would improve and our goal offense would be powerful. It was fun having one of the more storied players of our time as a supporting player, lending credibility to the team and the offense. It was good to see him join the team - exciting. It's disappointing to see the team let him go after one year, without anything accomplished.

70 receptions won't be especially easy to replace, and it's hard to make the team better when you're taking steps to remove talent.
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