Former Bengals star Chad Johnson skips his tryout to be an XFL kicker, per report

A week after saying he was "excited as hell" to kick off a potential career in the XFL, former NFL wide receiver Chad Johnson skipped his scheduled tryout for the league, according to ESPN's Kevin Seifert.

Johnson was supposed to be evaluated alongside a number of other prospective players Monday during the close of the revived XFL's first training camp in Houston. But the ex-Cincinnati Bengals star informed the league on Sunday, Seifert reported, that he'd changed his mind and decided against participating. After tweeting that he would give the XFL a go prior to the scheduled workout, Johnson has yet to publicly comment on his reverse of course.

Last seen in the NFL in 2011, the 42-year-old hinted in December that he was going to convert from wide receiver to kicker in an effort to come out of retirement, then suggested last week his XFL workout would be as a kicker. Johnson, of course, has a history using his legs, serving as an emergency kicker with the Bengals and playing in several professional soccer leagues.

A six-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro for the Bengals from 2001-2010, Johnson's most recent pro sports endeavor came in 2017 with the Monterrey Fundidores of the LFA, a Mexican spring football league. The year prior, he spent time as a guest training-camp assistant to Hue Jackson and the Cleveland Browns staff. Since his last days in the NFL, the outspoken wideout has also played in the Canadian Football League.

The XFL, remade and revived for 2020 after a short-lived existence in 2001, will kick off its new season Saturday, Feb. 8.

CBS Sports Writer

Cody Benjamin joined CBS Sports in 2017 after time spent with SB Nation, various newspapers and his own Eagles outlet. Raised around the Philly sports scene, he now lives in Minnesota with his wife and... Full Bio

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