Chad Johnson wants to finish off his NFL career "the right way"

Andy Lyons

Former Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson is still struggling on and off the field.

Since leaving Cincinnati, Chad Johnson's career has collapsed. Traded to the New England Patriots following the 2010 season, Johnson generated career lows in virtually every statistic, from receptions (15), yards receiving (276) and touchdowns (1). Though he played in the Super Bowl that year when the Patriots lost to the New York Giants 21-17, Johnson was released in June 2012. The Miami Dolphins signed him four days later, but after a very public arrest and domestic battery charge, Johnson was released during HBO's Hard Knocks. He hasn't been with an NFL team since.

Now with his NFL career in serious jeopardy, he's still struggling to gain control over his life. Johnson turned himself over to authorities on May 20, after a warrant was issued on May 13 for allegedly violating his probation. That hearing is set for this Monday.

After telling the crew on ESPN's First Take that his violation was the result of "miscommunication" with his probation officer, Johnson said that he's hoping to retire from the NFL the right way.

"I'm going to be OK," Johnson said. "I'm OK now, but I put myself in this situation and I have to deal with everything. With life, I'm at peace with everything. I would love to finish my career off the right way. If it happens, I'm not sure. But I would like to.

"I'm in a position where I have to prove myself again that I can still play," Johnson explained. "Can I still do it? I'm at the bottom again, like having to prove myself when I first came in [to the NFL] and I was hungry. I got complacent at some point in my career. I thought I had it right. I thought I had made it and figured it all out. I lost the game that I loved and played for years."

One of Johnson's closest NFL friends, Terrell Owens, is appealing publicly for the same opportunity. However Owens intends to retire if he doesn't play this season.

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