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Report: Darius Johnson ‘Had Enough With Football’
July 26th, 2014Aaron Freeman
Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports
The sudden waiving of Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Darius Johnson caught many, including myself by surprise Friday morning. While it was certainly a possibility that Johnson would not make the Falcons roster, expectations were that he would at least have the opportunity to compete for the position during the course of training camp. Following Friday’s first practice of training camp, head coach Mike Smith expressed no comment when asked what prompted Johnson’s release.
ESPN’s Vaughn McClure provided the most clarity we have to date, indicating that Johnson told people that he had enough with football and planned to begin coaching at his alma mater of Southern Methodist University.
Reports surfaced recently that Johnson had also been arrested in late May on DUI charges in Fulton County, although McClure’s insight seemingly nixes the idea that it was a significant factor in his departure from the Falcons.
If McClure’s report is true, Johnson’s career as a Falcon lasted just one season. He was an undrafted free agent last season, impressed enough during traininng camp to make the team’s practice squad and was elevated from that unit to the active roster when injuries sapped the Falcons of depth. Johnson managed to work his way from the team’s fifth option at wide receiver to their third by year’s end, finishing the season with 22 catches for 210 yards and a touchdown in 10 appearances and two starts.
Johnson’s departure increases the chances that one of the team’s many undrafted rookies could make the roster. Former Toledo product Bernard Reedy was very impressive during OTAs in May and June.