Tank Johnson

Tank Johnson

Infobox NFLactive
currentteam=Dallas Cowboys
currentposition=Defensive tackle
birthdate=birth date and age|1981|12|7
birthplace=Gary, Indiana
debutteam=Chicago Bears
* Chicago Bears (2004-2006)
* Dallas Cowboys (2007-present)

Terry "Tank" Johnson (born December 7, 1981) is an American football player for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League. He originally played for the Chicago Bears, who selected him in the second round of the 2004 NFL Draft. However, Johnson’s professional career was interrupted by recurring legal problems. Johnson eventually received a brief jail sentence, and later an eight game suspension for violating his probation. He was released from the Bears’ organization following another altercation with the law.

Early life

Johnson was born in Gary, Indiana. His father moved him to Arizona when he was six years old. He attended McClintock High School in Tempe, Arizona, where he had a B-plus grade average. [cite web |url= http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=sports&id=4865746&ft=lg |title=Tank's family shocked by recent developments|accessdate=2006-12-21] Johnson played college football at the University of Washington. During his four years at the University, he was second team All-Pac-10.

Professional career

Chicago Bears

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 NFL 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 was forced to appear in Circuit court to request permission to leave the State of Illinois to travel to Miami, Florida to play in Super Bowl XLI stemming from an arrest on gun charges late in 2006. [cite web |url=http://www.superbowl.com/news/story/9949455 |title=Bears' Tank Johnson can travel to Super Bowl |accessdate=2007-08-04] The request was granted, and he played in the game, recording four tackles, assisting on another, and getting a half-sack. [cite web |url=http://www.superbowl.com/gamecenter/live/NFL_20070204_IND@CHI |title=Super Bowl XLI Box Score |accessdate=2007-08-04 |publisher=Super Bowl.com] On May 16, Johnson met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to determine punishment for his off-the-field transgressions, [cite web|url=http://www.nfl.com/teams/story/CHI/10184767 |title=Bears' Tank Johnson meets with Goodell|accessdate=2007-05-16] with Goodell eventually imposing an eight-game suspension, with the possibility of a reduction to six games if Johnson followed certain requirements.

On June 25, after another run in with the law, the Chicago Bears waived Johnson, ending his three-year tenure with the team. [cite web |url=http://www.chicagobears.com/news/NewsStory.asp?story_id=3549 |title=Bears say goodbye to troubled defensive tackle |accessdate=2007-08-04 |last=Mayer |first=Larry |publisher=ChicagoBears.com] After being waived, Johnson has stated that he still wishes to play in the NFL, although if signed by another team he would have to serve the same eight game suspension he was given when he was with the Bears. [cite web |url=http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=AvsR62U..txsm04TBjzz4n9DubYF?slug=ap-tankjohnson-trafficstop&prov=ap&type=lgns |title=No DUI charges against Tank Johnson |accessdate=2007-08-04]

Dallas Cowboys

After being released from the Bears, Jerry Jones showed interest in signing Johnson. [The Dallas Morning News, [http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/091807dnspocowsider.e447cf1e.html Cowboys bring in Tank Johnson for physical] , Retrieved 18 September 2007 ] The two shortly came to terms, though Johnson was forced to miss several games on account of his suspension. [cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= | title=Suspended defensive tackle Tank Johnson signs contract with Dallas Cowboys | date=2007-09-18 | url=http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=ArJGVzJ6Rt6FqLnqwz5QCHhDubYF?slug=ap-cowboys-tankjohnson&prov=ap&type=lgns | work =Yahoo! Sports | pages = | accessdate = 2007-09-18 | language = ] He returned to the field on November 11, during a game against the New York Giants. In the game, Johnson recorded three solo tackles, and a single sack.

Legal troubles

In November 2005, Johnson was arrested at the Excalibur nightclub in Chicago's Cook County for possession of a handgun in his sport utility vehicle. Illinois law dictates that "It is unlawful to carry or possess any firearm in any vehicle or concealed on or about the person, except on one’s land or in one’s [home] or fixed place of business." [ [http://www.nraila.org/GunLaws/State/State.aspx?st=il Illinois gun laws] (PDF)] Illinois and Wisconsin are the only U.S. states that do not issue Concealed Carry Permits. Johnson pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge and was sentenced to 18 months probation and 40 hours of community service. [cite web |url= http://www.dailyherald.com/story.asp?id=260153 |title=Another Bears distraction: Tank charged |accessdate=2006-12-20] On February 12, 2006, Johnson, while still on probation, was charged with aggravated assault and resisting arrest after allegedly verbally threatening a police officer. Johnson was leaving the Level Nightclub on Chicago's Rush Street when the police officer was ticketing a limousine driver whom Johnson had hired. As Johnson allegedly put up a struggle, he was maced and subdued with the help of other police officers. The charges were eventually dropped. [cite web |url=http://www.chicagoist.com/archives/2006/02/13/tank_johnson_in_trouble_with_the_law_again.php |title="Tank" Johnson In Trouble with the Law Again |accessdate=2006-12-20 |format= |work= ]

On December 14, 2006, Lake County police officers searched Johnson's home in Gurnee, Illinois, and allegedly discovered that he possessed six firearms, including two assault rifles. According to police reports, some of the guns were loaded and there were children in the house. [cite web |url=http://www.nbc5.com/sports/10535933/detail.html |title=Tank Johnson Charged After Police Raid Home |accessdate=2007-07-30 |format= |work= ] Although Johnson was at football practice during the search, his bodyguard William Posey was arrested from his house for alleged possession of marijuana. Johnson was charged with violation to probation and possessing unlicensed weapons. Bears coach Lovie Smith deactivated Johnson for the following game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers based on this incident. [cite web |url=http://www.nbc5.com/sports/10535933/detail.html |title= Tank Johnson Charged After Police Raid Home |accessdate=2006-12-20]

On December 16, 2006, Johnson's best friend and bodyguard William Posey was killed in a shooting at the Ice Bar in Chicago's River North neighborhood. Posey was shot after he was allegedly involved in a fight around midnight. Posey was rushed to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:30am. Posey's assailant was not apprehended by the police. [cite web |url=http://www.nbc5.com/sports/10551977/detail.html |title=Police: Man Harassed 'Tank' Prior To Bodyguard's Shooting |accessdate=2006-12-20] On December 28, Chicago Police apprehended Michael Selvie, Posey's alleged assailant. Selvie, a "reputed gang member" has been implicated in over 30 other crimes. However, Selvie's defense attorney claims that Selvie does not possess a firearm or any gang affiliations. If found guilty, Selvie will face charges of first degree murder. [cite web |url=http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=AiinZWpaeoabeA6RM4Ma3shDubYF?slug=ap-bears-johnson-posey&prov=ap&type=lgns |title=Man charged in bar shooting death of friend of Bears' Johnson|accessdate=2006-12-28]

On December 22, 2006, Cook County Circuit Judge John J. Moran, Jr. (Skokie courthouse, Second District, Cook County, Illinois) placed Johnson on home confinement, preventing him from driving by himself or leaving the state of Illinois. [cite web |url=http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=AlIemTJ8qeImr7Jco7QwvB9DubYF?slug=ap-bears-johnson&prov=ap&type=lgns |title=Tank Johnson gets home confinement|accessdate=2006-12-22] On December 30, 2006, Tank Johnson contacted Gurnee Police Department to file harassment charges. [ [http://cbs2chicago.com/local/local_story_009075905.html Tank Johnson Pleads Not Guilty To Gun Charges] ] Local youths left a toilet seat with a harassing message on his doorstep. Local news reported that the police did not disclose what the message on the toilet seat said. [ [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4155/is_20070106/ai_n17106743 Tank questioned in slaying] ] On February 8, 2007, Johnson entered a guilty plea in Cook County's Courthouse in Skokie for violating his probation. [cite web |url=http://cbs2chicago.com/topstories/local_story_039191728.html |title=Tank Johnson Pleads Guilty On Probation Violation|accessdate-2007-02-08] On February 17, 2007, Johnson's lawyer contested a Lake County Circuit Court to drop Johnson's unlicensed weapons charges. His attorney claimed that since Johnson is a resident of Arizona, he does not have to abide to gun registration laws of Illinois. [ [http://cbs2chicago.com/northsuburbanbureau/local_story_048164957.html Lawyer Asks That Tank Johnson's Charges Be Dropped] ] On March 15, 2007, Johnson was sentenced to a 120 days in Cook County Jail and fined $2,500 for violating his probation. [CBS Chicago, [http://cbs2chicago.com/topstories/local_story_074094000.html Tank Johnson Sentenced To 120 Days In Jail] Retrieved on March 15, 2007] Johnson entered a plea of not guilty on 10 counts of possessing a weapon without the proper state-required ID. [ [http://cbs2chicago.com/local/local_story_074094000.html Bears' Johnson Begins Time At Cook County Jail] ]

On April 30, Johnson pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor weapons charge as part of an arrangement with prosecutors that will keep him from serving additional jail time. He was sentenced to 45 days in jail, which was served concurrently with a four-month sentence he's already serving in the Cook County Jail for violating his probation; to donate $2,500 to the Gurnee Police Department and $2,500 to the Gurnee Exchange Club's child abuse prevention program. [ [http://cbs2chicago.com/local/local_story_120134804.html Tank Johnson Pleads Guilty, Avoids More Jail Time] ] While he was in jail, many of his teammates and coaches, including Brian Urlacher, Rex Grossman, and Lovie Smith visited Johnson. [ [http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/football/bears/cs-070509haugh,0,7307989.column Bears showing concern for Tank] ] His release from jail on May 13 ended his legal problems from the December 2006 weapons incident. [ [http://cbs2chicago.com/topstories/local_story_131133238.html Bears' Tank Johnson To Be Released Sunday] ] The league ultimately suspended Johnson for half of the regular season on June 4. [Chicagobears.com, [http://www.chicagobears.com/news/NewsStory.asp?story_id=3492 NFL announces Tank Johnson suspension] , Retrieved on June 4, 2007]

On June 22, Johnson was pulled over for speeding in Gilbert, Arizona. According to the police, he was stopped by after driving forty miles per hour in a twenty-five mile per hour zone. He was also suspected of driving while impaired "to the slightest degree", but was released without being booked or charged. The Bears waived Johnson a few days after hearing the news, as general manager Jerry Angelo stated that he had no room for error left. [Yahoo! Sports, [http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=AnMbdkdrIUiC5zLiX_yS6dJDubYF?slug=ap-tankjohnson-trafficstop&prov=ap&type=lgns Tank Johnson stopped by police in Phoenix suburb] Retrieved on June 22, 2007] The incident would prove to be the final straw in his already tense relationship with the Bears' organization. The Bears ultimately released Johnson on June 25, claiming he "compromised the credibility" of the team. [Yahoo! Sports, [http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2916083 Bears waive suspended Tank Johnson] Retrieved on June 25, 2007] Almost a week after Johnson was waived, the results from a blood test conducted on Johnson when he was pulled over confirmed his blood alcohol content was under the legal limit. [Associated Press, [http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ap-tankjohnson-trafficstop&prov=ap&type=lgns Tank Johnson under legal limit in DUI arrest] (July 2, 2007), Yahoo! Sports, Retrieved on July 2, 2007.]

ee also

*National Football League player conduct controversy


External links

* [http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=6806 ESPN player profile]

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