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Larry Johnson on his Contract, Being a Leader and the Season Opener

From yesterday's Q&A:

Q: What does the financial investment the organization made in you say about the Chiefs commitment in you?

JOHNSON: "It’s big and it gives you a lot of responsibility, no matter if you want it or don’t want it. Any time they make you the highest-paid player in franchise history you have to own up to it not only on the football field, but also in the community and off the football field. Those are the type of things you have to live with being the top-paid guy and having those responsibilities."

Locker room cancer? Anyone? Anyone?
Q: When did you realize that you wanted to get this done quickly?

JOHNSON: "It was difficult because I was training at API (Athletes Performance Institute) in Arizona. I wasn’t even supposed to be in Kansas City. I came to Kansas City to change clothes because I had been in Arizona for two weeks. I came home Sunday and I was pacing all through the house. I was like, ‘should I go up there (to Arrowhead), should I call, should I not call.’ I made the phone call to Herm (Edwards) and talked to him for a little bit. Then Carl (Peterson) called me and said we should meet. We met in a lounge and I was hoping we could have gotten it done that night, but things were optimistic. I was thinking we could get the deal done in the next two or three days and then it happened the next day after. I was grateful for that."

I imagine these contract negotiations are like that Seinfeld episode where Jerry and Keith Hernandez are hanging out.

JERRY: It's been three days and he hasn't called.

ELAINE: Well maybe you should call him.

JERRY: I can't ... I can't

ELAINE: Why not?

JERRY: I don't know. I just feel he should call me.

ELAINE: What's the difference?

JERRY: You don't understand, Elaine. I don't want to be overanxious. If he wants to see me he has my number, he should call.

Q: Will two weeks be enough time to get ready for the regular season?

JOHNSON: "It will take a little longer than that. Obviously Coach is going to do a great job of getting me on track to where in Week Two or Week Three of the season I’m going to hit my full stride. I’m going to try to pick it up as fast as I can because what I know about myself is that I’ve never been a fast starter coming out of the blocks in a season. It’s always been the last eight games is when I really turn it on. Obviously I’m going to push myself as hard as I can to kind of even it out."

Thankfully Larry Johnson and Carl Peterson got the deal done when they did. If this lasted any closer to the regular season opener, we could be listening to Larry Johnson say he won't be full strength until Week 4 or 5. For those that drafted LJ in their fantasy leagues, take note and keep an eye on the situation. LJ may not be going at full strength come September 9th against the Texans.

It's Game Time.

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