Tank Johnson tried the thug life and the patience of the Chicago Bears numerous times. Still, they provided support, visited him in jail and gave him more than enough chances to turn his life around and advance his career.
But after his latest run-in with the law in Arizona, the Bears had seen enough and it was time to let him go.
The Bears, saying they were “embarrassed” and that Johnson had “compromised the credibility” of the team with his latest incident, released the defensive tackle Monday.
Johnson was waived three days after he was pulled over by police in Arizona. He already had been suspended for the first eight games of the 2007 season for violating probation on a gun charge. He spent two months in jail and was released in May. . .
“We are upset and embarrassed by Tank’s actions last week,” general manager Jerry Angelo said in a statement. “He compromised the credibility of our organization. We made it clear to him that he had no room for error. Our goal was to help someone through a difficult period in his life, but the effort needs to come from both sides. It didn’t, and we have decided to move on.”
Police in the Phoenix suburb of Gilbert said Johnson was stopped for driving 40 mph in a 25 mph zone at 3:30 a.m. Friday and the officer made observations that led him to believe Johnson was impaired. (More)
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The Chicago Bears selected Johnson with the 15th pick of the second round of the 2004 NFL Draft. Along with teammates Tommie Harris, Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, and Nathan Vasher, Johnson helped the Bears’ establish the league’s most productive defense during the 2005 NFL season. During the start of the 2006 season, Johnson saw more action due to the loss of Tommie Harris.
On January 23, 2007, two days after the Bears won the NFC Championship Game, Johnson appeared before Circuit Judge Moran to request permission leave the State of Illinois to travel to Super Bowl XLI in Miami, who granted the request. On May 16, 2007, Johnson met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to determine punishment for his off-the-field transgressions.
On Monday, June 25, 2007, the Chicago Bears waived Tank Johnson, ending his three-year tenure with the Chicago Bears Football Organization. Because of the strong possibility that his release is connected to his off-the-field problems, Johnson has the right to file a non-injury grievance against the Bears for violation of the Personal Conduct Policy. Don’t drink and drive. Don’t carry a gun in public. Don’t get into arguments at strip clubs at 4 a.m. The thug life is over in the NFL.