Chad Johnson has been one of the most consistent wide receivers of the past decade. He averaged 80.3 receptions from 2002-10.
Yet, one bad year in New England has many pundits thinking Johnson is washed up. Is that a fair assessment?
The NFL is full of short short memories. You're only as good as your last game or your last season. But career consistency should count for something, and Johnson is probably being written off too soon.
Expectations have never been lower for the six-time Pro Bowler. They range from riding the pine in Miami this year to not making the team.
But the Johnson I've seen in minicamp and training camp has been impressive. He's sharp out of his cuts, getting open and catching the football well. It also appears Johnson is having fun again, which wasn't always the case in New England's stuffy football environment.
Granted, Johnson is 34. He's at an age when most receivers hit a wall. But Miami doesn't have much at receiver, and right now Johnson looks like the best of the group.
Johnson is not a Pro Bowler anymore. But I don't think he's the 15-catch player we saw in New England last season, either. Johnson's 2012 season should land somewhere in between.