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After Suspension, Chiefs Can't Keep LJ Away With Pay

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Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk explains a little more clearly the Kansas City Chiefs options with Larry Johnson following his one-game suspension.

A lot of us have wondered if, following his suspension, LJ can be just be asked to stay home with pay, which would effectively keep him out of the facility with his potentially toxic attitude.  

This is an option.  However, LJ must agree to it.  The problem is that it might not make much sense for LJ to do this.

If he's cut from the Chiefs following the suspension, he'll get the remainder of the money due to him this season AND he can sign with another team receiving another pro-rated contract from them.  Per John Clayton of ESPN, multiple teams would be interested in LJ if he were cut so you would imagine he's interested in just being released from the team.

Plus, LJ may not want to sit for half a season at age 30 then look to sign with a new team.  He's still likely looking to show he can play so he can score another contract, however short that may be, and he needs to be on the field to make that happen.

If LJ is not interested in staying home with pay for the balance of the season, the Chiefs can not require him to.  The precedent in this case is the 2005 incident with the Philadelphia Eagles and Terrell Owens.  If you recall, T.O. was suspended four games for conduct detrimental to the team then was asked to go home for the rest of the year.

The revisions to the 2006 CBA extension changed that loophole.

Yesterday, Adam Schefter of ESPN said releasing LJ is an "unlikely option" right now.  The reasons laid out above are why it may not necessarily be best for the team to outright cut LJ at this point.  And, Schefter was correct yesterday when he reported LJ would not play against the Jacksonville Jaguars next week so we're going to listen to what he has to say.

So, basically the Chiefs can deactivate LJ for the season, which would save them his per-game roster bonus, let him play (with pay) or release him (with pay).