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Multiple Reports Say NFLPA, Not LJ, Possibly Wants to File Grievance

Before today's loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, Chris Mortensen of ESPN reiterated a report from PFT last week that Chiefs RB Larry Johnson would not fight it if the team chose to deactivate him for the rest of the season, keeping him from earning a $62,500 bonus each game.

If he chose not to fight it, then today's running backs, Jamaal Charles, Kolby Smith and Dantrell Savage, are likely the three that'll carry the load from here on out.

And, if that's the case, then the showdown will be this Sunday against the Oakland Raiders.  LJ will be back at the Chiefs facility tomorrow, per the terms of his suspension.

LJ talk after the jump (if you're sick of the situation, then I would suggest not clicking 'Continue reading').

To get you caught up, last week, PFT reported that Larry Johnson and his agent, Peter Schaffer, are not expected to file a grievance if he is not the starter when he returns.

Also last week, Chris Mortensen of ESPN reported that the NFLPA wanted to file a grievance if he isn't the starter.

So what happens when a player and the union disagree?  Well, in this case the player will win.  It's not just a matter of semantics - the player has to actually file the grievance (with the NFLPA backing him if he does).  The NFLPA does not file the grievance themselves in this case.

After LJ filed a grievance last week that ultimately resulted in a settlement, Schaffer relayed a similar message from LJ.

"He kept saying, `You go to a grievance hearing, they can get adversarial and I don't want to be that way,'" Schaffer said.  "He said, `I plan on being a Chief the next Monday, so why would I want to fight with somebody when the next day I will be fighting for them?'

Is this really the case?  I'm not so sure.  Per Chris Mortensen on Sunday NFL Countdown this morning, even though LJ would be losing his $62,500 per game bonus, it might be in his best interest to not fight a season-long deactivation by the Chiefs.

"The problem is," Mortensen reported today, "Johnson has to initiate the grievance and he ha sent signals he won't fight the Chiefs on anything, preferring to diplomatically ease his way out of town for 2010 and maybe save himself some wear and tear."

I've said this before and firmly believe it - if LJ's avenue out of town is to be a bratty PR nightmare then other teams are going to take notice and think twice before they sign him if/when he's a free agent.  I'm not saying other teams will necessarily ignore him - just that GMs across the league notice the pattern of behavior.

Also today, the Chiefs rushed the ball 14 times for 60 yards, which is a 4.3 average.  LJ, of course, has averaged 2.7 yards per carry this season so it's hard to say the Chiefs really missed him at all, which would only strengthen the possibilities that the Chiefs would deactivate him for the season (although there's been no indication from the team that they'll do that).