Chad Johnson felt restricted in N.E.

Updated: July 25, 2012, 4:58 PM ET
ESPNBoston.com

Wide receiver Chad Johnson's one-year tenure with the New England Patriots was a disappointment, and he told the Miami Herald that part of the reason was that the team didn't allow him to be himself.

"I'm going back to my normal ways," Johnson told the newspaper after a photo shoot for Zico Coconut Water. "My normal ways, when I was at my best, when I got fined, look at the production those years. Usually things don't go right when you try to change the way you do things. I'm back to normal.

"My personality was controlled last year. You didn't hear me at all last year. Zero. Zilch. When my mouth is running, it forces me to perform. It's never been vindictive. I never got anybody in trouble. ... When I can be me, I am loose. Everything just flows for me, whether it's the style of play, the way I learn."

Johnson, who was then known as Chad Ochocinco, totaled just 15 receptions for 276 yards and one touchdown for the Patriots in 2011. The team had acquired him from the Cincinnati Bengals in a late-July trade and the sides agreed on a new three-year contract that included a $4.5 million signing bonus and $1 million base salary for 2011.

Johnson had the contract reworked this offseason, slashing his 2012 base salary from $3 million to $925,000 in hopes of sticking on the roster, but the Patriots released him in June and he then signed with the Miami Dolphins.

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