news 1 week ago

Chad Johnson might become a kicker in the XFL, hoping for NFL return

Sporting News — (Jordan Heck)

Chad Ochocinco Johnson announced Tuesday he'll have an opportunity to prove himself to the XFL soon.

Johnson was a dominant wideout during his 10 seasons in the NFL, finishing with 11,059 career receiving yards, placing him 36th all-time. Even though he was a six-time Pro Bowler and three-time, first-team All-Pro as a receiver, he was mostly known for his on-field antics.

Most notably he legally changed his name to Chad Ochocinco to represent the two numbers on his jersey (8 and 5). He had a number of creative touchdown celebrations including playing golf with a pylon, putting on a Hall of Fame jacket and holding up a "Please don't fine me again" sign.

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But some may not remember that Johnson had the makings of a great kicker: He only had a few opportunities in the NFL to showcase his kicking skills, but he looked like he could have been a legitimate placekicker in the NFL. Here he is in 2009 kicking an extra point in a preseason game.

He also handled the kickoff in that game, launching the ball to the 9-yard line.

“I went out there and did what I do. I just kicked," Johnson said at the time. "Everyone has to remember, I’ve always said that soccer is my No. 1 sport. I think Ronaldinho would be proud of me right now.”

In December, Johnson posted a video of himself kicking field goals, saying he can make kicks from 60 yards. In that post he also said, "I’m going back to the [NFL] as a kicker next year, I spoke with Goodell and I will get the opportunity. I’m good from 60 & 70 yards if I had a cleat on my plant foot."

Johnson briefly played semi-professional soccer as well, joining Boca Raton FC in March of last year.

When announcing that he'll be trying out for the XFL, Johnson added on Twitter that he hopes this opportunity could potentially lead to an NFL job.

Johnson is 42 years old, so a return to the NFL isn't too far-fetched, although it would be quite a surprise. We've seen plenty of 40-year-old kickers in the NFL before, including current Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri who is 47. But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, we need to realize that Johnson stills needs to do well in the workout next week.