Chad Johnson (born January 9th, 1978 in Miami, Florida), is an American football wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League. The Bengals drafted Johnson from Oregon State University in the second round of the 2001 NFL Draft.
After graduating from Miami Beach Senior High School, Johnson attended Santa Monica Junior College, where he was a teammate of Carolina Panthers wide reveiver Steve Smith. In 2000, Johnson transferred to Oregon State University after being aggressively recruited by coach Dennis Erickson. Alongside future Bengals teammate and fellow wideout T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Johnson led his team to an 11-1 season and a victory in the Fiesta Bowl. He also broke a school record for the longest touchdown reception by a player with a 97 yard reception in a game against Stanford University.
During an interview with Mel Kiper prior to the 2001 NFL Draft, Johnson was asked what he wanted to accomplish in his first five years in the NFL. He responded by saying that he wanted to be in the Pro Bowl four of his first five years. He accomplished just that by being selected to his fourth Pro Bowl in 2006.
Johnson saw moderate playing time as a rookie, catching 28 passes for 329 yards and one touchdown. Since, he has amassed over 1,100 receiving yards in each of four seasons, being named to the Pro Bowl in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006. Furthermore, in 2003, Johnson set a Bengals franchise record by recording 1,355 receiving yards. He later surpassed the record in 2005, recording 1,432 yards. Johnson has led the AFC in receiving yards for three seasons.
In addition to being one of the most productive receivers in the NFL, Johnson is also one of the most popular ones. In the fan voting for the 2006 Pro Bowl, Johnson finished first in votes for wide receivers, and fourth overall with 987,650 total votes. He has earned nationwide attention for his flamboyant attitude, which is often seen during his infamous end zone celebrations after catching touchdown passes. In a list released in August 2006 by Fox Sports listing the top 10 showboats in professional sports, Chad topped the list. Furthermore, Johnson has drawn even more attention to himself with his gilded grills, earrings, and as of 2006, his bleach blond mohawk.
On April 20, 2006, Johnson signed a contract extension. The deal, which pays Johnson an additional $35.5 million, will last up to 2011.
During the 2005 NFL season, Johnson announced that he would keep a checklist which would evaluate the defensive backs that successfully managed to cover him (The list was titled Who Covered 85 in '05.) On November 2, 2005, Marvin Lewis, the Bengals head coach, replaced Johnson’s list with another one entitled, Did 85 do everything he could to lead his team to victory 11-6-05. The list, an obvious parody of the original, asked several questions regarding Johnson’s performance both on and off the field.
According to the Bengals' official website, the list was aimed to galvanize the Baltimore Ravens, whom the Bengals would play in four days. Johnson was not pleased with the new list, as he had developed a superstitious faith in the older list. Not surprisingly, Johnson had only a mediocre performance during the game, prompting the return of the original list.
* One of Johnson's cousins, Samari Rolle, is a notable NFL player.
* Contrary to popular belief, Johnson is not related to Keyshawn Johnson. This was reported by Jay Glazer on October 22, 2006 during the Cincinnati and Carolina NFL game. According to him, this is even reported in the Cincinnati Bengals media guide.
* Drew Rosenhaus is Johnson's NFL agent.
* Chad Johnson will appear on the cover of EA's NFL Street 3.
* While attending Santa Monica Junior College, Johnson was teammates with Steve Smith.
* On October 25, 2006, in honor of Spanish Heritage Month, Johnson announced he would prefer to be called, "Ocho-Cinco" ("8-5" in Spanish. The number 85 is actually "Ochenta y Cinco".) During the October 29, 2006 game against the Atlanta Falcons, Johnson wore "Ocho Cinco" instead of "C. Johnson" on the back of his jersey during warm-ups. Quarterback Carson Palmer ripped the label off Johnson's jersey to reveal the usual "C. Johnson".
* Chad Johnson appeared on the October 24th, 2006 cover of Sports Illustrated.