After being arrested for “DUI Impaired to the Slightest Degree” early last Friday morning in Arizona, defensive lineman Terry “Tank” Johnson was released by the Chicago Bears today.
Johnson had vowed in May that he was a changed man after spending two months in jail for violating probation on a gun charge. Johnson was already facing an eight-game suspension for the start of the next season and may now have very well put his career –at least in the NFL–in severe jeopardy.
Johnson was pulled over for going 40 mph in a 25 mph zone in the Phoenix suburb of Gilbert on June 22nd. Officers suspected that Johnson was impaired, and a cooperative Johnson submitted a blood test for his BAC.
While those results aren’t expected for two weeks, the Bears’ organization didn’t need to wait for the results to get rid of Johnson after supporting him under much criticism during the last seven months.
The end of Johnson’s run as a Chicago Bear comes after a long line of embarrassing incidents. Police raided Johnson’s home last December and found six unregistered firearms, some of which were in the vicinity of Johnson’s young children.
After expressing contrition for this arrest (which violated an earlier gun charge), Johnson found himself in more trouble some two days later. His bodyguard, Willie B. Posey, was gunned down and killed during a fight at a Chicago nightclub that he and Johnson were frequenting. Johnson was suspended for one game by the Bears for the incident but returned to the team during its Super Bowl run.
Chicago general manager Jerry Angelo said today that Johnson’s recent DUI arrest “compromised the credibility of our organization.” Head Coach Lovie Smith was described in a prepared statement as saying that Johnson did not live up to his side of the deal with the organization. Johnson was drafted by the Bears in the second round of the 2003 draft out of the University of Washington.