Brandon Marshall is gone, but the Miami Dolphins have another wide receiver who can cause a stir at the drop of a hat. Chad Johnson (formerly Chad Ochocinco) told the Miami Herald Wednesday that he expects to have a great year with the Dolphins, adding that he plans on sending a $100,000 check to the NFL to cover his expected bill for excessive celebration fines this season.
"This season is going to be a monster year," Johnson told the Herald. He signed a free agent deal with the Dolphins this year after a disappointing season with the New England Patriots in 2011. He caught just 15 passes for 276 yards and a touchdown, by far the worst season of his career.
But even without Patriots quarterback Tom Brady this year (and with the Dolphins' quarterback situation far from settled), Johnson says he will shine when training camp opens on Friday. "My game is at the point where it doesn't matter who starts at quarterback. Oprah can play quarterback and we'll be all right."
The Dolphins will likely go with one of its two veterans (Matt Moore or David Garrard) at quarterback this season. Rookie Ryan Tannehill is expected to learn from the bench in 2012.
But regardless of who throws to him, Johnson is so sure that he will be celebrating many a touchdown that he will send NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell a $100,000 check "right after the last preseason game" to cover his expected fines in 2012.
"One of the things I like about being here," he continued, "is I can be me, whatever that entails. When I can be me, I am loose. Everything just flows for me."
Johnson has already planned some celebrations that include fan participation. "Something real short: five, six seconds," he explained. "There won't be a penalty for that. It's people in the stands, unless they want to fine an entire stadium!"
Johnson spent the first ten seasons of his career in Cincinnati, where he earned a reputation for drawing the NFL's ire for his extravagant touchdown celebrations. The six-time Pro Bowl selection sometime used props to celebrate his scores, one time using an end-zone pylon to "putt" the football into an imaginary cup.
When he joined the Patriots last season, Johnson toned down his antics at the behest of New England coach Bill Belichick. "My personality was controlled last year," he said. He thinks playing more loose will improve his on-field performance. "When my mouth is running, it forces me to perform."
"My numbers last year would tell everyone this [expletive] is done," he continued. "But there's nothing wrong with me physically. You will see with your own eyes. You will see the speed, the quickness."
The Dolphins open training camp on Friday, with their first preseason game on August 10.