Chad Johnson (born January 9, 1978 in Miami, Florida), is an American football wide receiver for the National Football League's Cincinnati Bengals. He was drafted as a junior out of Oregon State University by the Bengals, who had the fifth pick in the second round of the 2001 NFL Draft.
His teammate on the Beavers squad, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, was drafted in the seventh round of the same draft. Moreover, two of Johnson's cousins are also notable NFL players: Carolina Panthers wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson and Baltimore Ravens cornerback Samari Rolle.
Chad Johnson is simultaneously regarded as both one of the most productive receivers in the league as well as one of its most flamboyant. The former has led him to be named to three NFL Pro Bowl games; the latter, to numerous fines, primarily due to his trash talking and many of his imaginative touchdown celebrations. In 2005, Johnson kept a checklist of opposing cornerbacks he played that season and only gave a mark to those players who had been able to successfully cover him in man-to-man coverage. When news of the list became public, reportedly none of the men he played against took offense. However, when Johnson created a list specifically for their division rivals, the Baltimore Ravens before their game against the Bengals on November 6, 2005 game, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis switched lists on Johnson. Lewis' list asked:
Did 85 do everything he could to lead his Team to Victory? Did he study extra tape? Zero mental errors in practice? Make a teammate better? See all "sights" and "hots" (blitzes)? Did he run after the catch? Did he finish his blocking? These new questions delved deeper into the responsibilities of an NFL receiver, reminding Johnson that there is more to his job than simply getting open on the field and catching the football. His original list for that week was posted in his locker in Baltimore when he arrived at the stadium. Johnson took Coach Lewis' list to heart and performed well during the game, gaining 91 yards on 5 catches, mostly against double coverage schemes. Since then his original list returned to its normal spot. Chad Johnson was named to the Pro Bowl in 2003, 2004, and 2005, and has amassed over 1,100 receiving yards in four of his first five seasons. In 2003, he set a Bengals record with 1,355 receiving yards, and later surpassed it in the 2005 season, recording 1,432 yards. As of 2005, he has led the AFC in receiving yards for 3 straight years. On Thursday, April 20, 2006, even though he already agreed to play for the Bengals until 2009, he signed a new deal that will keep him in Cincinnati until 2011. Over the next six seasons, he will make $35.5 million .