Chad Johnson spoke to Showtime's "Inside the NFL" this week. It was a riveting interview in which Johnson appeared to confess his sins and take full responsibility for his alleged physical abuse of his wife. I can tell you more than a few NFL general managers were watching and I spoke to several who were absolutely convinced Johnson was a changed man.
"Before that interview, no way I would have signed him," said one GM. "After watching him, he was very convincing. He's someone I'd look at now."
Another team executive said Johnson was now on his radar.
How much of this is gamesmanship? How much are teams talking up Johnson in hopes a competitor signs him and causes problems within that competitor's franchise? There might be some of that but the team executives I spoke to seemed genuine in how they were affected by Johnson's words.
Me? Not so much. Johnson is a showman, on the field and off. Even his Twitter account is entertaining. He knows what buttons to push and I've believed part of Johnson is a bit phony. There is also the well documented science that says abusers are highly convincing people.
I don't believe Johnson, at all, but I may be alone when it comes to some in the NFL.
In fact, despite what was an alleged despicable act, of all the exiled receivers now -- Terrell Owens, Plaxico Burress, and Johnson (I may be missing a knucklehead or two) -- I actually think Johnson might be the first signed.
In the upside down, crazy world of the NFL, alleged woman beaters are not seen as a huge problem in some organizations. Players like Owens that dynamite locker rooms are viewed as a bigger issue.
The interview may have helped Johnson that much in the football world. Even if it may have been an act.