Keyshawn Johnson

Keyshawn Johnson

Infobox NFLretired

position=Wide Receiver
birthdate=birth date and age|1972|7|22
Los Angeles, California
college=Southern California
* New York Jets (1996-1999)
* Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2000-2003)
* Dallas Cowboys (2004-2005)
* Carolina Panthers (2006)
stat2label=Receiving Yards
* 3x Pro Bowl selection (1998, 1999, 2001)
* All-Pro selection (1998)
* Super Bowl champion (XXXVII)
* 1998 Co-Pro Bowl MVP

Keyshawn Joseph Johnson (born on July 22, 1972 in Los Angeles, California) is a former American football wide receiver and current television broadcaster for sports channel ESPN. He retired from football on May 23, 2007 after an eleven-year career in the NFL.

Early life

Johnson is the youngest of his mother's six children. While her other children lived with relatives, she and Keyshawn struggled to survive, even living in her car at one point. At a young age, Keyshawn was in trouble with the law, spent time at a reformatory camp, and was the victim of a drive-by shooting. Keyshawn is cousins with NFL Pro Bowl Wide Receiver Chad Ocho Cinco and Pro Bowl Cornerback Samari Rolle. [ [ USC Legends Keyshawn Johnson ] ] However, by 1990, he had turned his life around, partly due to University of Southern California (USC) football head coach John Robinson. Robinson became a father figure to Keyshawn, allowing him to spend time with the team, fetch balls and helmets, and carry things for the players. Johnson lettered in football and track at Dorsey High School, and was first-team all-state in football. After he earned JC All-America honors at West Los Angeles College, USC offered him an athletic scholarship. [ [ - SI Online - Glory Days Again - Thursday January 03, 2002 11:01 AM ] ]

College career

Playing for Robinson, Johnson, a two-time All-American selection, led the USC Trojans to wins in the Cotton Bowl and the Rose Bowl. He caught 12 passes for a Rose Bowl record 216 yards and 1 TD in the Trojans' 41-32 victory over the Northwestern Wildcats, earning the game's MVP honors. He wore the number 3 in college.

Pro career

New York Jets

He spent the first few years of his professional career with the New York Jets, who drafted him with the top overall selection in the 1996 NFL Draft. He was the first wide receiver selected with the number one overall pick since Irving Fryar was chosen by New England in 1984 . While in New York, he played three seasons from (1997-1999) under Bill Parcells. One of his best performances was in a 34-24 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in a playoff game after the 1998 season. In that game, Johnson caught 9 passes for 121 yards and a touchdown, rushed for 28 yards and a touchdown, recovered a fumble, and intercepted a pass on defense.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Johnson was traded on April 12, 2000 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for two first round draft choices (12th - Shaun Ellis - and 27th - Anthony Becht - overall) in the 2000 NFL Draft. [ [] ] Johnson signed a 6-year, $52 million contract extension with the Buccaneers that made him the highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL. [ [] ] Johnson went on to win a Super Bowl with the Buccaneers in the 2002 season.

Dallas Cowboys

The team traded him on March 19, 2004 to the Dallas Cowboys for Joey Galloway. Reunited with his former coach, Johnson lived up to his advance billing for the Cowboys in 2004, leading the team in receiving yards and tying for the lead in touchdown catches while taking over a leadership role in the locker room and on the field.

Keyshawn Johnson was released by the Dallas Cowboys on March 14, 2006, presumably to make room for the recently released former Eagle Terrell Owens.

Carolina Panthers

On March 23, 2006, Johnson signed a four-year, $14-million-dollar deal with the Carolina Panthers. Of this, he was guaranteed a $5 million dollar signing bonus. He was expected to play opposite Steve Smith as the number two receiver.

During the Carolina Panthers' Monday Night Football game against the Buccaneers on November 13, 2006, Johnson became the first player in NFL history to score a touchdown on MNF with four different teams (Jets, Buccaneers, Cowboys and Panthers).

Keyshawn was fined $5,000 in Dec of 2006 for throwing his helmet in rage during a 27-24 loss to the Eagles.

Keyshawn Johnson was released from the Panthers on May 1, 2007 after just one season with the club. He posted 70 receptions for 815 yards and 4 touchdowns in Carolina.

Ironically, his release from the Panthers came just three days after he suggested, when working as an analyst for ESPN at the 2007 NFL Draft, that the Panthers should draft a young wide receiver.


On May 23, 2007, Johnson announced he was retiring from the NFL, reportedly turning down offers by several teams, including the Tennessee Titans and the New York Giants. Titans' Head Coach Jeff Fisher, who became friends with Johnson while he played at USC and Johnson was a ball boy, said Monday he thought Johnson 's numbers and production spoke for themselves: "He still played at a high-level last year. He takes very good care of himself," Fisher said. "He hasn't had any injuries per se. Anytime you get a chance to bring an experienced veteran in to add to your roster then it's a good thing." On the same day, Johnson announced he would be working as an analyst for ESPN. []

On February 5th CBS4 Miami reported that Bill Parcells reached out to Keyshawn Johnson. Parcells reportedly told him if he was to come out of retirement there would be a spot on the Miami Dolphins roster for him. [ [ - Keyshawn Johnson In Aqua And Orange? ] ]

His all-around game has earned him selection to the Pro Bowl three times - 1998 and 1999 with the N.Y. Jets and 2001 with Tampa Bay. Keyshawn Johnson finished his career with 814 receptions, tying him at 17th all-time with Henry Ellard for career NFL recptions. His 10,571 yards receiving is the 24th highest total in NFL history. In reaching the 600 career receptions plateau in 118 games, he tied Herman Moore for the second fewest number of games needed in NFL history to reach that mark, and he became one of only three players in league history (Moore and Marvin Harrison) to reach 600 receptions in less than 120 games. He caught 512 passes in his first 100 games to rank as the fourth most receptions in a player's first 100 games. The other three are: Marvin Harrison (591), Sterling Sharpe (524) and Lionel Taylor (516).

To achieve this production, he has averaged 74.8 catches-per-season over his first nine seasons, and caught a pass in every one of his 135 games played over this span. This accomplishment was the second longest streak among active receivers (Harrison, 139) and the third longest streak to begin a career among all players (Marshall Faulk, 158 and Harrison, 139) at that time. For his career, Johnson has recorded 60 or more catches in ten of his eleven NFL seasons. In 2001 and 2002, he became the first player in Buccaneers history to record consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons when he registered 1,266 yards in 2001 and 1,088 in 2002.

A durable player, Johnson has missed only three of a possible 145 career games - including playoffs - due to injury.

Analyst on ESPN

Johnson was part of the 2007 NFL Draft broadcasting team with Chris Berman, Mel Kiper Jr. and Chris Mortensen that aired on ESPN. It was announced that he will become an ESPN analyst for Sunday NFL Countdown, and Monday Night Countdown. He will also be an analyst on several ESPN telecasts, including pre-game shows on Sundays and Monday nights, and some radio work as well. He is also an analyst on the ESPN Who's Now competition.


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